In a gruesome act, Taliban beheaded an employee of the police department in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley which the security forces have claimed has been cleared of militants.
Muhammad Iqbal, a civilian employee of the police station in Matta sub-district, was beheaded at his home at Sambat Cham early on Saturday.
The gruesome killing prompted policemen to launch a counterattack against the Taliban for the first time in the past two years, The News daily reported. Policemen killed a militant and demolished seven houses belonging to rebels. They also arrested a suspected militant after an exchange of fire during a raid on Taliban hideouts.
District police chief Sajid Mohmand confirmed the police action and the killing of a militant. "We and the army soldiers have banded together in the valley to patrol streets and keep a vigil on the militants," he said.
Beheading of victims is one of gruesome traits the Taliban employ against their rivals mostly security personnel.
Dozens of policemen have met the same fate at the hands of Taliban who have gone to the extent of filming such horror tactics on videos and widely circulated them in order to create fear among the people.
After being singled out for attacks by the Taliban, the police force in Swat saw over 800 desertions during the past two years. Police officials too were reluctant to take part in anti-Taliban actions as they were not trained for counter-insurgency operations.