Pakistani security forces make advances in South Waziristan (Lead)

October 18th, 2009 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Wana (Pakistan), Oct 18 (IANS) The security forces claim to have taken control of the Spankai and Ghazai areas of South Waziristan along the restive border with Afghanistan, while Pakistan Air Force (PAF) combat jets pounded Taliban positions, killing 12 terrorists and demolishing several hideouts during a military operation that began late Saturday, a media report said.
Two security personnel were killed and five injured in two separate attacks in the region, which is the stronghold of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Geo TV reported Sunday quoting sources.

The migration of civilians from different parts of South Waziristan is underway, and an indefinite curfew has been clamped on parts of the region, the sources added.

A security man was killed and three others were injured when a bomb detonated by remote blew up their vehicle in the Karkunray area near Jandola town. PAF jets pounded the area in retaliation, killing 11 terrorists and injuring eight others and destroying two militants’ hideouts.

PAF planes also targeted suspected Taliban positions in the Ladha and Sarvekai sub-districts of South Waziristan.

The militants attacked a paramilitary Frontier Corps convoy in the Razmak area, killing one security man and severely wounding two more.

An official said soldiers have begun an operation against the Taliban from three fronts, adding that over 4,000 to 5,000 terrorists are suspected to be in South Waziristan, most of them in the Mehsud area.

The Mehsud area was the stronghold of TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud who was killed in a US drone strike last month. His deputy, Hakimullah Meshud has taken his place.

The latest offensive comes after the security forces cleared four districts, including Swat, of the Malakand division in the North West Frontier Province of the Taliban. The militants, in a desperate bid to stave off the current operation, had attacked the Pakistani military headquarters Oct 10 and three police establishments in Lahore Oct 15. Forty-four people were killed in the two assaults.

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