Pak troops kill 20 militants, arrest 200 terror suspects

Last Updated: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 19:40

Mingora: Pakistani troops gunned down 20 militants and arrested nearly 200 terror suspects, including a female would-be suicide bomber, during operations across the restive tribal belt and the northwestern Swat valley, authorities said on Thursday.
Thirteen militants, including two commanders, were killed and about 180 suspects arrested during a fresh crackdown in Swat valley following the assassination of a provincial legislator by a suicide bomber on Tuesday.

Three militants were killed in gun battles with security forces at Matta and Peochar in Swat today.

Ten militants, including commanders Abu Faraj and Zahid Khan, were killed and a soldier was injured when troops raided a Taliban hideout in Kabal area late last night.

Officials also said about 180 suspected militants were arrested by security forces over the past 24 hours.

Among them were two would-be suicide bombers, including a lady, who were apprehended in Nawakale village.

Seven militants were killed when gunship helicopters pounded Taliban bases in the Orakzai tribal region today.

Five militant hideouts and camps were destroyed during the air strikes.

Thirteen militants, including three commanders, were arrested during an operation in Khyber tribal region. The militants were arrested in Bara area, considered a stronghold of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Islam militant group. Two of the three commanders arrested were trying to escape the area disguised as women, a spokesman for the Frontier Corps said.

Arms and ammunition were also seized from militant hideouts during the operation, the spokesman said.

Pakistani troops also conducted operations against the Taliban in Waziristan tribal region, where a soldier was injured when militants attacked soldiers with rockets at Blanki Sar.

Security forces destroyed 15 militant bunkers in Jandola sector of South Waziristan.

In Shakai sector, soldiers sanitised the area around Shahur river and found 22 interconnected tunnels built by militants.

In Razmak sector, troops cleared a large number of militant-held compounds and defused nine improvised explosive devices. They also conducted search and clearance operations at several places.

The Army, which launched an operation against the Taliban in Swat in May, claimed several months ago that it had evicted militants from most parts of the valley.

People displaced by fighting were allowed to return home in July but Swat has witnessed a spurt in violence in recent weeks.

The military claims over 600 militants have been killed in South Waziristan, where a major ground offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan was launched in October.


First Published: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 19:40

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