Pak troops capture 15 suspected militants in Swat | world | Hindustan Times
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Pak troops capture 15 suspected militants in Swat

world Updated: Oct 19, 2009 21:50 IST

Pakistani troops on Monday captured 15 suspected militants in the troubled Swat valley even as a federal minister said the Taliban network in the area had been rendered "ineffective" by a military operation.

Security forces arrested 15 suspects and demolished a militant training camp near Bartana in Swat during a search operation, the military said in a statement.

Eleven militants also surrendered to security forces at different places in the valley that was once a popular tourist resort.

Troops also seized improvised explosive devices, arms and ammunition during a search of a militant commander's house at Shakardarra in Swat.

Addressing a news briefing, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the "major Taliban cartels" in Swat had been broken and the militant network in the region had been made "ineffective" by a military operation that was launched in May.

Though the militants in Swat had not been completely eradicated, they had been isolated, he said.

Security forces are now carrying out intelligence-led operations to eliminate the remaining rebels, he added.

The Pakistan Army says it is winding up the operation in Swat, where it claims to have killed over 2,000 militants.

About 300 security personnel have also died in the fighting.