Islamabad, Pakistan (BBN) – Pakistan’s troops have killed 55 militants in various parts of the northwestern Swat valley during the last 24 hours, the military said on Friday.

Meanwhile, the authorities concerned have temporarily lifted a curfew in large parts of the Swat valley to allow civilians to flee the intense fighting against the Taleban.

The curfew is being suspended for eight hours during the day, official confirmed.

“Fifty-five miscreants have been killed in various areas of Swat during the last 24 hours while three security forces personnel embraced shahdat (martyrdom) and 11 others were injured,” the military said in press statement.

On Thursday artillery batteries shelled suspected hideouts in Swat and the neighboring district of Lower Dir, with the military claiming to have killed around 124 militants. Nine soldiers were also killed, the statement added.

More than 940 Taliban militants and 45 soldiers have been killed so far in the ongoing military operation launched since April 26, 2009. There is no independent confirmation of the figures and no word on civilian casualties.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-15May09-9:36 pm (BST)