Pakistan's military vowed Friday to eliminate militants from a northwestern valley, as thousands of civilians fled the escalating conflict.
Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas formally announced a full-scale offensive was underway, and said more than 140 Taliban fighters had been killed in Swat Valley since Thursday.
Abbas says seven soldiers have been killed in the fighting. Witnesses say some civilians have also died.
There has been no independent confirmation of the casualty figures.
The U.N. refugee agency says about 500,000 people have fled the fighting in Dir, Swat and Buner districts in recent days, bringing the total displaced in recent months to about one million.
The fighting is the deadliest outbreak since February, when local officials signed a controversial peace deal with Taliban militants that has since collapsed.