54 pro-Taliban militants killed in Swat, Shangla

November 15th, 2007 - 11:46 am ICT by admin  

Peshawar, Nov 15 (ANI): At least 65 persons including 54 militants and 11 civilians were killed while several others were injured when the armed forces and the militants clashed in Swat and Shangla districts of the NWFP.
The Pakistan Army used helicopter gunships and also shelled a vehicle in Shangla killing at least 14 militants including a prominent commander and injuring several others, sources have informed.
According to reports, 31 militants were killed in Swat army operation while 23 were killed in Shangla.
Pro-Taliban spokesman Sirajuddin claimed that they had murdered at least 31 security forces personnel including four in Saidu Sharif and two in Batkhela and 23 in other parts of Shangla and Swat.
Meanwhile, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Waheed Arshad put the toll in both the districts at 35, including 33 militants and two Frontier Corps soldiers.
Sources told The News that four helicopter gunships and heavy weaponry were being used against the local Taliban since Tuesday morning.
The life in the Swat district came to a complete halt due to the persistent use of helicopter gunships, artillery and mortar shelling in various directions of the four restive subdivisions Kabal, Matta, Khwazakhela and Charbagh.
Substantial losses from both sides were reported in the clashes, but the exact number of casualties could not be ascertained. The fighting between the two sides continued with the army targeting civilian settlements, the locals alleged.
Announcements on loudspeakers alongside the main Malakand Road right from Mardan up to Mingora were made asking the people not to come out of their houses after 12 midnight, apparently to facilitate the movement of troops.
But the convoy could not be moved due to high security risk, as on Tuesday night an Army vehicle meant for security of the convoy was attacked with a bomb near Batkhela, killing two security personnel.
However, Major general Arshad said that eight army men sustained injuries in the incident with no one killed. The security forces after the incident resorted to heavy firing and took five persons into custody and shifted them to a fort. (ANI)

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