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450 militants killed in Pak fighting: Army

world Updated: Nov 07, 2009 00:03 IST

The army’s offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan is moving along ahead of schedule as security forces have killed around 450 militants and captured several key rebel bases, chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said on Friday.

Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation) is “going well ahead of time and the terrorists are on the run”, Abbas said.

Sararogha, once seen as the operational base of the Taliban, has been cleared and troops had entered Makeen, another important headquarters of the militants, he said.

Around 450 militants have been killed and many others arrested while 42 soldiers, including officers, had lost their lives, Abbas said in an interview with Radio Pakistan.

Another 142 soldiers had been injured. “Most importantly, we are enjoying not only the support of the masses but that of the tribes as well. Our real target is to free the Mehsud tribe from the claws of the terrorist organisation so that they can lead their lives according to their customs,” Abbas said.