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Pak troops kill 10 Taliban militants

Pakistani troops killed at least 10 militants in the northwestern Swat valley, where the military is waging an offensive against the Taliban, officials said on Friday.

world Updated: Dec 05, 2008 11:44 IST

Pakistani troops killed at least 10 militants in the northwestern Swat valley, where the military is waging an offensive against the Taliban, officials said on Friday.

Troops killed six militants in a ski resort town in the valley and destroyed their ammunition dump and hide-outs on Thursday, a security official told AFP.

They also destroyed a car packed with explosives for a possible suicide attack, the official said.

Another four militants were killed on Thursday when troops intercepted their vehicle in the valley, which has been rocked by a violent campaign to impose harsh Islamic laws, he added.

The killings came as a suicide bomber set off a "huge" blast at a security checkpoint on a bridge in the Swat town of Mingora.

"The blast was so huge that it damaged a part of the bridge and an adjacent checkpoint, shattering the window glass of nearby buildings," local police official Mohibullah Khan told AFP, adding the bomber was the only casualty.

The army last year launched a major offensive against Islamic militants in the once-popular tourist site, renowned for its ancient Buddhist relics.

The mountainous, snow-capped Swat region used to attract large numbers of foreign and local tourists to Pakistan's only ski resort.

But it has been turned into a battleground since radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who has links to Pakistan's Taliban movement, launched a violent campaign for the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in the valley.