Pakistan Army captures Taliban chief Hakimullah's hometown | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan Army captures Taliban chief Hakimullah's hometown

Pakistan Army on Saturday claimed to have captured the hometown of Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in the lawless South Waziristan tribal region, where a major ground offensive was launched against militants a week ago.

world Updated: Oct 24, 2009 17:57 IST

Pakistan Army on Saturday claimed to have captured the hometown of Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in the lawless South Waziristan tribal region, where a major ground offensive was launched against militants a week ago.

Several militants were killed in the operation to capture Kotkai, the Inter-Services Public Relations said.

There were no details of any casualties among security forces.

Reports from Waziristan said the town was captured overnight and troops subsequently launched an operation to clear the area.

Troops took control of the town after besieging it from several directions over the past few days. Jets and helicopter gunships were used to pound militant positions during the siege.

The army faced stiff resistance as it captured strategic heights and features overlooking Kotkai.

More than 20 militants and several soldiers, including an officer, were killed in clashes in and around the town over the past three days.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah is not present in Kotkai but the capture of the town represents a major propaganda coup for the army in its campaign against militants in South Waziristan.

Kotkai is also the hometown of Hakimullah's close aide Qari Hussain, who is the chief trainer of suicide bombers.