Taliban kidnap 30 policemen in Swat valley in Pakistan
Thirty Pakistani policemen are reported to have been captured by Taliban fighters in the northwest Swat Valley after they laid siege to a police station.
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.
Thousands of Taliban laid siege to the police station in the area of Shamozai on Tuesday.
The army was mobilised to rescue the police and break the circle of Taliban militant surrounding the building, security officials said.
Clashes continued throughout Tuesday but as dusk fell, the operation had to be suspended. During the night Taliban broke into the police office, kidnapped the officers and then blew up the building, Khan told AFP.
An intelligence official based in Peshawar said late Tuesday that four paramilitary and police officers were wounded in clashes with Taliban militants who surrounded the station in Shamozai
Pakistan's most famous tourist heaven has turned into valley of fear. Swat valley is considered as Switzerland and remains the most picturesque tourist spot in the country, it now conjures up fear and lurking danger. Fighting in Swat valley has also triggered mass exodus. Thousands of civilians are fleeing from fighting in northwest Pakistan's Swat valley.
A tearful Ikramullah said seven of his relatives had been killed on Sunday when his village of Chalis Palow in the valley's Charbagh district, was shelled.
He said he was taking his family to stay with relatives in the Mardan region of North West Frontier Province.
Another man from Charbagh, Samiullah, 36, said most people had left his village and there was no one left to offer funeral prayers for those killed in the fighting.
People were burying their relatives in the yards of their homes, Samiullah said.
The scenic Swat valley, only 130 km northwest of the capital, Islamabad, was until recently one of Pakistan's prime tourist destinations.
Now the valley is on the front line of the country's struggle against Islamist militancy and has become a test of the government's resolve to check the spread of the Taliban.
Militants from Taliban and al Qaeda enclaves on the Afghan border infiltrated into the valley to support a radical cleric, Mullah Fazlullah, and began batting the security forces in 2007.