Pakistani troops on Sunday tightened their grip on the just-recaptured main town of troubled Swat Valley, where the military said the operation could end within days, as at least 50 Taliban militants and nine soldiers were killed in fighting in the northwest and the tribal areas.
A day after the Pakistan army claimed it had secured complete control of Mingora, the headquarters of Swat district, security forces began patrolling all important areas of the city. Security forces on Sunday entered nearby Kalam town after fierce skirmishes with Taliban fighters.
Troops were conducting cordon and search operations in Kalam, the military said in a statement.
Security forces also secured a key village 14 km northeast of Bahrain, another Taliban stronghold in Swat, and began consolidating their positions in the area.
Curfew was on Sunday relaxed in different parts of Swat for the first time in several days.
TV channels reported that close to 50 militants were killed in fighting in Swat and the restive South Waziristan tribal region while the military statement put the militant casualties at 27. The statement said nine soldiers, including a lieutenant, were also killed in the fighting.
"The operation in Swat had been completed almost 90 per cent," Defence Secretary Syed Athar Ali said on Sunday and hoped that the remaining militants would be wiped out within "two-three days".