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60 killed in anti-Taliban offensive: Pak

Pakistan's military said Sunday that 60 militants were killed during the first 24 hours of a major offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan.

world Updated: Oct 18, 2009 16:06 IST

Pakistan's military said Sunday that 60 militants were killed during the first 24 hours of a major offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan.

It was the first militant death toll released by the military since ground troops, backed by fighter jets, launched the operation on Saturday.

The figures were impossible to confirm with the battleground sealed off to journalists and all communications in the area shut down.

"In last 24 hours, reportedly 60 terrorists have been killed in operation Rah-e-Nijat. Casualties of security forces are five soldiers and 11 are injured," the military said.

A spokesman told AFP that troops in the field submitted the casualty report to headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which was besieged by Islamist gunmen last week.

In operations in the east, 30 militants were killed and two soldiers died with troops extending their control up to Mandana, on the road to Kotkai, the home town of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.

Around Sherwangi, where security officials have reported the heaviest Taliban resistance, the military said 20 militants and one soldier died.

The military said "important features and tactical heights" around Razmak have been secured, costing the lives of two soldiers and killing 10 militants.