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18 militants, 3 soldiers killed in Pak offensive

world Updated: Nov 08, 2009 00:04 IST

Agencies
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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, the 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 would be completed before the expected time frame.