The Pakistani military says it killed at least 16 militants and arrested four others loyal to a radical cleric during operations in the northwestern Swat Valley.

The army says it used helicopters and artillery Wednesday in several attacks on militant positions throughout the area, Shangla.

In a separate incident, a bomb attack on a military convoy wounded eight soldiers.

Pakistani media reports say followers of the pro-Taliban cleric, Maulana Fazlulla, recently seized control of several towns in Swat without facing resistance from police forces.

The cleric has declared a holy war against the Pakistani government, spreading his message through a pirate FM radio station.

Last month, the military sent 2,500 troops to the scenic tourist area to combat the insurgency.  President Pervez Musharraf justified imposing emergency rule, in part, to crackdown on rising militant attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.