45 Taliban militants, 4 soldiers killed in Pak tribal belt
45 Taliban millitants killed in an encounter with the army in tribal belt.
Agencies || www.indianexpress.com
Posted: Sunday , May 31, 2009 at 1539 hrs IST
Islamabad :: At least 45 Taliban fighters and four security personnel were killed when Pakistani troops repelled an overnight attack by militants on a paramilitary camp in the troubled South Waziristan tribal region, officials said on Sunday.
The attack on the security forces’ camp near the border with Afghanistan sparked a gun battle that lasted for eight hours, officials were quoted as saying by television news channels. The officials said 45 militants and four security personnel were killed in the skirmish. However, Geo News channel has put the number of militants killed at 50. Security forces have also started an offensive in different areas of Spinkai Raghzai, Officials in the political administration of South Waziristan Agency said.
The offensive was launched following several attacks on the security forces. The Taliban have stepped up their activities in South Waziristan, a stronghold of militant commander Baitullah Mehsud, following operations against them in Buner, Dir and Swat districts of the North West Frontier Province
The Pakistan Army has claimed it has killed hundreds of militants in Malakand division, which includes Swat, and captured Mingora, the main city in the region.
Meanwhile, security forces arrested six militants associated with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan from an area near Landi Kotal in Khyber Agency and recovered a large number of arms from them. The militants were arrested during a search operation. Three assault rifles, an anti-aircraft gun, two rockets, wireless equipment and mobile phone sets were seized from them.
Pak Army takes over Mingora, 25 millitants killed in clash
Sunday, 31 May, 2009 | 04:47 AM PST | www.dawn.com
ISLAMABAD, May 30: The army claimed on Saturday that security forces had regained control of Mingora, the main city of Swat and stronghold of the Taliban, destroyed a number of terrorist training centres and killed some important militant commanders.
Military spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas told a briefing that troops were expecting stiff resistance in Mingora, but militants started fleeing after having been besieged. Security forces also secured Nawagai and Najigram.
He said it was a big success because Mingora has two strategic heights — Saidu and Kamber — and links the region with Malakand, Buner and Shangla.
He said a large quantity of arms and ammunition had been seized in Nawagai. “The people of Mingora have started identifying militants who are trying to pose as innocent citizens.”
Maj-Gen Abbas said 25 militants, including commanders Abu Saeed Misbah-ud-Din and Sultan Khan, had been killed and three others arrested.
One soldier lost his life and four others, including one civilian driver, were injured.
Training centres of commanders Lal Din, Said Jalil and Mian Said Liaq in Peochar were destroyed. A training base of Maulana Fazlullah, the Taliban chieftain in Swat, was also destroyed.
The military spokesman said that troops had started operation in Kalam and Gulibagh and cleared an area up to Kedam, three kilometres north of Bahrain.
A soldier and a civilian driver were killed and two soldiers injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near Chamtalai. Militant commander Sultan Khan was killed when militants attacked security forces in Drushkhela and Asharai areas.
Maj-Gen Abbas said six militants were killed during a search operation in Kamber Bazaar area of Lower Dir. Ten militants were killed in Kulal Dheri. Three Afghan nationals were arrested in Wari Bazaar area of Upper Dir.
In Buner, miscreants on a car fired at a checkpost near Sultanwas. Troops returned fire, killing six militants.
Commanders Abu Saeed and Misbah-ud-Din were killed during a raid in an area near Sultanwas.
In reply to a question, Maj-Gen Abbas said that so far 1,217 militants had been killed and 79, including foreign nationals, apprehended.
He said that a number of low-ranking militant commanders had lost their lives and the security forces were on the hunt for the linchpins.
The ISPR chief said there were unconfirmed reports about the killing of top Taliban leaders, but it would be shared with the media only after authentic verification. He said that weapons found in militants’ hideouts were of American, Russian and Indian make.
RELIEF WORK: The military spokesman said that a team of 21 doctors carrying adequate medicines had reached Mingora to make the civil hospital functional. Gas supply to Mingora has been restored and a number of mobile generators have been provided to run water pumping stations.
He said that work on damaged electricity polls and transformers in Mingora had started and power supply would be restored in two weeks.
Twenty-five tons of ration had been sent to Khawazakhela for distribution among 40,000 stranded people there.
Information Minister Qamaruz Zaman Kaira told the briefing that the number of internally displaced persons had reached three million, adding that Nadra had data of 283,000 families.
He said the data would be handed over to the Special Support Group on Monday to enable it to start the process of distributing a one-time cash grant of Rs25,000 among the IDPs.
He said the government was committed to providing maximum facilities to the IDPs and on the directive of President Asif Ali Zardari thousands of desert coolers were being procured for IDP camps.