Taliban leaders might have fled to Afghan, say Swat residents | world | Hindustan Times
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Taliban leaders might have fled to Afghan, say Swat residents

Elusive Swat Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah, along with other top leaders, might have fled to Afghanistan, a British media report said on Saturday claiming that Pakistan army was winning the war against the militants.

world Updated: Jun 20, 2009 19:32 IST

Elusive Swat Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah, along with other top leaders, might have fled to Afghanistan, a British media report said on Saturday claiming that Pakistan army was winning the war against the militants.

The Pakistani troops in their operations to drive out the Taliban from Swat, Buner and Dir in the country's restive north-west have discovered bomb manuels, chequebooks and bundles of dollars and euros, to point out a "foreign hand" behind the Taliban campaign, TheGuardian reported.

But the military success has come at a human price, with thousands of refugees living in camps and those who have remained in the valley reeling under curfew and shortages of basic items, it said.

While the military officials boast of their 'successful' campaign, thousands have fled Swat, in an indication that inside the valley - the tourist idyll turned Taliban fortress - a second crisis is brewing, The Guardian said.

Tens of thousands of people have remained in Swat through the fighting, stuck between the army and militants and straining under a strict military curfew.

However, the Taliban leadership, headed by Maulana Fazlullah, remains at large, the paper said, adding the residents believe they had fled to Afghanistan.

The people of Swat also believe the insurgency would only end with the death of Taliban leaders, it said.