18 militants, 3 soldiers killed in fresh Pak clashes
Last Updated: Saturday, November 07, 2009, 18:35
Islamabad: Pakistani forces were close to overrunning all three Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan as they killed 18 militants in fierce fresh battles in the lawless region and adjoining areas over the last 24 hours.

While the Army has taken control of two Taliban hubs of Sararogha and Ladha, they were battling for full control over Makeen, which they described as "nerve centre" of Pakistani Taliban.

With the capture of these towns, Army would be nearing seizing almost all the South Waziristan, raising question marks, whether they will pause or march into North Waziristan.

Declaring that the Operation Rah-i-Nijat (path of salvation) was being conducted "very effectively", Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the Army campaign will be completed before the expected time frame.

The fighting over the last 24 hours left a total of 12 militants dead and five Pakistani soldiers wounded, the military said in a statement.

Army also said that large cache of weapons and ammunition have been recovered as troops in the course of operations came across tunnels dug deep into the mountainside to store weapons.

Taliban struck back by attacking an Army check-post in Torawari village in neighbouring Hangu area killing three paramilitary soldiers. Troops based in the nearby forts responded by killing at least six attackers.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, November 07, 2009, 18:35

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