Over 45 Killed In Pakistan's Restive Swat Region
Fighting has intensified in the troubled Swat region of Pakistan after the government announced that it has adopted a new strategy to crush terrorists in Swat and will establish its writ within weeks in the volatile region.
The death toll in two days of fighting in Swat climbed to 35 as security forces continued to pound militant positions days after the federal government announced a new strategy to tackle militants in the area.
Militants attacked another school with explosives. The building of the primary school for boys in Nengolai was completely destroyed. Hundreds of families have fled the fighting in the troubled region. Troops engaged militants in Dheri, Kabal, Nengolai, Manglawar, Charbagh and adjoining areas.
Violence and security operations in the restive Swat valley in northwestern Pakistan claimed the lives of over 45 persons, including 16 militants following a fresh campaign against local Taliban militants in the picturesque region last week, media reports said.
A statement from the military said more than 16 militants were killed and many others injured in gun battles with security forces at three places in Swat since Saturday. The battles came even as federal Narcotics Control Minister Khawaja Mohammad Khan Hoti resigned Sunday to protest the government's failure to tackle militancy in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and adjoining tribal areas through dialogue.
Meanwhile, security forces continued their clearance operation in Charbagh sub-district and engaged suspected militant hideouts. The troops have consolidated their hold over Charbagh, which was considered a "stronghold of the hardened militants", said the statement.
In an incident in the Aligrama area, a security forces personnel was killed and two others were wounded when militants attacked a patrol. Five suspected militants were arrested during a search operation in the same area.
Twenty-seven bodies were found in Kabal and Charbagh sub-districts, Pak TV channels reported. The rest of the persons killed in violence in Swat were all civilians and police personnel.