Swat military offensive in “final phase”: ISPR

June 23rd, 2009 - 1:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, June 23 (ANI): The Pakistan Army has said that its offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley has been successful with scores of militants being eliminated, and it was nearing its end.

Addressing a joint press conference with Minister of State for Information, Sumsam Bukhari, here, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General, Major General Athar Abbas said operation ‘Rah-e-Rast’ has been successful, as the troops have forced the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud to shift back its terror network to South Waziristan.

Major General Abbas said that the military operation was in its last stage, with the security forces destroying several militant hideouts and clearing their stronghold in the Swat Valley during the last 24 hours.

“The security forces are in the final phase of eliminating terrorist hideouts and camps in Swat,” The Nation quoted Abbas, as saying.

He said that 1,592 militants have been killed in the offensive till now, while more than 100 security officials have also lost their life.

Abbas, however, failed to confirm the fate of several Taliban commanders fighting against the security forces in the valley.

He also refused to comment on Interior Advisor Rehman Malik’s claims that the Swat Taliban chief, Mullah Fazalullah had been cornered by the military and is injured.

“There is no solid evidence available and intelligence agencies are trying to confirm the reports that some Taliban leaders had been wounded and a few had been killed,” The Nation quoted Abbas, as saying.

When asked to comment on the military offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan, Abbas refused to divulge details about the operation.

“His (Mehsud’s) network, the factory that he has set up where classes of suicide bombing and training are being conducted, should be destroyed, overrun, and dismantled,” he said. (ANI)

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