Pakistani army says kills 15 Taliban in fresh Swat assault

Pakistani troops killed 15 suspected fighters in a fresh attack on Swat, the army said.

Pakistani army says kills 15 Taliban in fresh Swat assault


Pakistani troops killed 15 suspected fighters in a fresh attack on Swat, the army said on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 45 in five days after a lull in the offensive against Taliban.

Security forces also launched another assault on the northwestern tribal region of Khyber, bordering Afghanistan, a government official said.

Lt. Col. Akhtar Abbas, a military spokesman in Swat, said that it was very precise and they killed 15 fighters in the attack launched on Monday evening.

The army had already killed at least 30 insurgents in encounters since Friday, while 12 police recruits were killed by a suicide bomber on Sunday., Reuters said.

Pakistani army declared "victory" after it 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.

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 militants, 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.

Khyber attacks

On August 31, Taliban fighters set fire to 18 container trucks carrying military supplies for Western forces in neighbouring Afghanistan where U.S.-led forces invaded in 2001 in the Pakistani border town of Chaman.

In Khyber, forces killed five fighters and destroyed three fighter bases in the latest offensive.

Troops used artillery to attack suspected positions while residents said helicopter gunships flew over the area but did not take part in the operation.

The offensive in Khyber came less than a week after a suicide bomber killed 22 Pakistani border guards in an attack at the main crossing point into Afghanistan.

The Aug. 27 attack on Khyber was the first major operation since Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a U.S. missile strike in early August.

Hakimullah Mehsud, who led fighters in the Khyber, Orakzai and Kurram tribal regions, has been chosen as the new overall commander of the Pakistani Taliban.


Agencies

Last Mod: 01 Eylül 2009, 14:58
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