700 Taliban fighters killed in Pakistan: Rehman Malik
About 700 militants have so far been killed in the ongoing military operation in northern Pakistan, says Interior Minister Rehman Malik.world Updated: May 11, 2009 13:19 IST
About 700 militants have so far been killed in the ongoing military operation in northern Pakistan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Monday, saying the operation would "continue till elimination of the last terrorist".
Talking to media in Islamabad after returning from the US, Malik said about "700 militants have been killed and 20 security personnel martyred" in the anti-Taliban offensive in Malakand division, the Daily New reported.
Malik said the government had made an appeal to international community to provide aid for the thousands of people who were affected and displaced following Swat operation. "Our top priority is to rehabilitate displaced persons."
More than 296,000 people have so far been displaced due to the operation that begun last week following intense international pressure on Pakistan to combat the militants who were advancing towards the capital Islamabad.
In February the North West Frontier Province government had inked a deal with the Taliban, through an outlawed group led by cleric Sufi Muhammad, to enforce Sharia or Islamic law in Malakand division that includes the restive Swat valley.
However, Taliban militants in early April entered Buner district from the neighbouring Swat valley and were reluctant to vacate the area despite their pledge to do so.
The security forces then started a military operation against them in Buner, followed by operations in other areas in the northwest.