alJazeera.net, 16 January
Major-General Shaukat Sultan, a spokesman for the military, said between 25 and 30 suspects were present at the time of the attack on Tuesday.
"The operation was carried out at around 6:55am (01:55 GMT) in Zam Zola in
He said missiles were fired at mud-walled compounds housing the suspects.
Helicopter gunships were then deployed to complete the operation. "I can't tell you the exact number of casualties, but most of them were killed," Sultan said.
While the army and a senior local official said the dead were fighters, and included some foreigners, a resident said the slain men were in fact Afghan labourers.
Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the region, said he had received unconfirmed reports that most of those killed were "innocent civilians" in the densely-wooded Zam Zola area. He said people were still being dug out.
He said that he also had unconfirmed reports that the attack came from
The south of
The army later struck a peace deal, but fighters linked to the Taliban grew in influence in the semi-autonomous tribal region, actively recruiting men and boys to fight in
Last September, the government of General Pervez Musharraf struck another peace deal with tribal elders in neighbouring