Pakistani Taliban 'kidnap' 29 police and soldiers

Tens of thousands of residents have fled from the valley.

Pakistani Taliban 'kidnap' 29 police and soldiers
Pakistani Taliban fighters kidnapped 29 paramilitary soldiers and policemen on Wednesday, police alleged, after they laid siege to a police station.

"They apparently ran out of ammunition after a day-long siege," Khan said of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers and policemen defending the station.

The Swat valley, only 130 km (80 miles) northwest of the capital, Islamabad, was for years a main tourist destination.

Residents say the fighters have gained control of virtually the entire valley.

Army troops were sent to the Shamozai area in an effort to rescue the police officers but the operation was suspended after dusk fell, security officials said.

Four paramilitary and police officers were wounded in the clashes around the police station, a Pakistani intelligence official said.

Residents say about 40 civilians have killed, many in shelling and air attacks by government forces aimed at the fighters.

Tens of thousands of residents have fled from the valley.

Agencies

Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2009, 15:12
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