Pakistan arrests Taliban spokesman Khan in Swat

Pakistani security forces have arrested the spokesman of the Taliban in the Swat valley.

Pakistan arrests Taliban spokesman Khan in Swat

Pakistani security forces have arrested the spokesman of the Taliban in the Swat valley, the military said on Friday.

The spokesman Muslim Khan and four other Taliban leaders were arrested from Swat, the military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said.

Pakistani army launched late April a massive offensive in Swat Valley, breaking the deal between Taliban and government over a Sharia administration.

Taliban gained the right to form provincial administration, implementing Shar'ia laws in Swat districts under the deal. But Taliban fighters entered neighbouring districts, including one just 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Islamabad.

While the commander of the Taliban in Swat, Fazlullah, avoided interviews and television cameras, Khan became the public face of the Taliban in Swat.

The army reported in July that Fazlullah was believed to have been wounded but Khan denied it.

Last month, U.S. drone aircraft launched a missile attack in South Waziristan that killed Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of various factions of the Pakistani Taliban.

The Taliban have named a new leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who has sworn revenge.

Taliban says the offensive was launched by government to please U.S. who has pressured to break it.

Taliban says Pakistani government had no respect for any pact and they kept violating every agreement and if this goes on.

The army says it has killed over 2,000 fighters, and lost 312 soldiers in the fighting. Independent casualty estimates are unavailable.

U.N. warned Pakistan that U.S.-backed attacks in Waziristan would force half a million civilians to flee their homes. But ongoing Swat operaitons caused already three million displacement.

Pakistan grabed over 5 billion USD in financial assistance after military offensive on Taliban.


Reuters
Last Mod: 11 Eylül 2009, 11:16
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