11 Taliban, a soldier killed in fighting in northwest Pak | world | Hindustan Times
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11 Taliban, a soldier killed in fighting in northwest Pak

world Updated: Jul 24, 2009 19:32 IST

At least 11 militants and a soldier were killed in intense fighting in Pakistan's restive Swat valley, where the military is wrapping up a nearly three-month-long operation against the Taliban.

A soldier and two militants were killed and an insurgent was captured during a skirmish near Thana in Swat over the past 24 hours, the military said in a statement on Friday.

Troops continued conducting search and clearance operations in various parts of Malakand division, which includes Swat.

Two more militants were killed when troops conducted a search at Surgulai and Syed Piranda Baba Ziarat. They also demolished two houses of militants at Akhun Kalle and Garoh and apprehended a militant.

Security forces killed another militant during a search operation at Sambat near Khwazakhela, a former Taliban stronghold.

Troops apprehended four suspected militants from a house near Gulijabba during a search operation.

TV news channels quoted a military official as saying that six militants were killed yesterday during an operation by security forces in Kabal sub-district.

The troops also seized two vehicles that were used by Maulana Fazlullah, the local Taliban chief.

The Pakistani Taliban yesterday dismissed the military's claims that Fazlullah was "critically" wounded in the army operations in the restive region, asserting that he was healthy and unhurt.

Violence has continued in Swat amidst the return of thousands of people displaced by the offensive against the Taliban though Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had recently said the objectives of the military operation had been achieved.

Gilani had called in the army in May to eliminate the Taliban in Swat and nearby districts.

The Army claims it has killed over 1,700 militants in Buner, Dir, Swat and other parts of Malakand. Over 160 security personnel have also died in the fighting.

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