Taliban shaving off beards, fleeing Swat: army | world | Hindustan Times
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Taliban shaving off beards, fleeing Swat: army

world Updated: May 15, 2009 23:15 IST
Kamal Siddiqi

Pakistan security forces claimed on Friday to have killed 55 militants as the military campaign in the troubled Swat Valley entered its ninth day.

An army spokesman said that three security men had also been killed in the fighting in the past 24 hours.

The army also accused the Taliban of fleeing the war zone after shaving off their beards.

“We have confirmed reports that Taliban terrorists after shaving off their beards and cutting their hair are fleeing from the area,” said a statement from the Inter Services Public Relations department.

Street battles soon

Army lifted its curfew in wat Valley on Friday, allowing thousands to flee as troops prepared for street-by-street battles with Taliban militants. “The civilian population should leave the city so that security forces can take the militants to task in street-to-street fighting," spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said.