As always happened no prominent terrorists were found in the dead. The terrorists have been roaming freely, but always children and women are being killed. "The people of Bajaur Agency are ready to provide all-out assistance to the United States then why the areas were being attacked," a tribal elder was quoted by an eyewitness as saying.
According to reports, at least people were killed in an air strike by Pakistani forces on a madrassa (religious school) used as a militant training camp, the army says. The army said the madrassa in the tribal area of Bajaur bordering Afghanistan was destroyed by helicopter gunships early on Monday.
Monday's attack took place near Khar, the main town in Bajaur. The leader of the madrassa, radical cleric Maulana Liaqat Ullah Hussain, was among the dead.
"We received confirmed intelligence reports that 70-80 militants were hiding in a madrassa used as a terrorist training facility, which was destroyed by an army strike, led by helicopters," army spokesman Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan told the Associated Press news agency.
However, an eyewitness told newsmen that the madrassa school was filled with about 80 local students who had resumed studies after the Muslim Eid holidays.
People at the scene told reporters that body parts were scattered in the area after the attack. "We heard helicopters flying in and then heard bombs," villager Haji Youssef said. "We are all saddened by what we have seen."
A cabinet minister from Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, Siraj ul-Haq, has resigned in protest over the attack.
"This is a very wrong action. They [the victims] were not given any warning. This was an unprovoked attack on a madrassa. They were innocent people," Siraj ul-Haq said.
Journalists trying to get to the scene were being turned back as they tried to enter the Bajaur region.
Areport says Monday morning's attack coincides with peace talks between tribal elders and pro-Taliban militants in Bajaur.
The government had already released prisoners in anticipation of a deal, possibly along the lines of an agreement signed in the neighbouring tribal region of North Waziristan, our correspondent says.
Bajaur, which borders Afghanistan's insurgency-plagued eastern province of Kunar, was the scene of a controversial US air strike in January, believed to be aimed at Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Meanwhile, according another report, Pakistan's security forces in an operation killed up to 80 militants in Bajaur Agency, the chief military spokesman confirmed here on Monday.
In news briefing at ISPR headquarters here military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said the madrassa at Khar area of Bajaur tribal region was run by Maulvi Liaquat.
"We had information that the madrassa was a militant training camp," he said.
The raid was conducted on Monday morning, he said and added that no women or children were killed in the raid.
"We have not carried out a body count, but information we have received from certain local sources and intelligence sources suggests that there may be up to 80 dead," he said.
It is interesting to note that Pakistan has signed a deal with the Taliban in Bajaur Agency some two days ago.
The people of Bajaur Agency have questioned the contention of Pakistani government as according to them, no action has so far been taken against the militants and always only small kids and women were being killed.