Swat operation in final stage as Taliban ’staring defeat in the face’ : Pak army

May 26th, 2009 - 2:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban London, May 26 (ANI): The Pakistan Army has claimed that its mission against the Taliban and other extremist groups in the Swat Valley is near accomplishment, as the Taliban has virtually announced a one-sided ceasefire.

With the Army intensifying its operation in Mingora and other parts of the Valley, and engaging in severe street fighting, the Taliban has suffered a series of setbacks over the past week.

This has compelled the outlawed outfit to vow to not fire ‘even a single bullet’, The Independent reports.

“Our aides will remain there in Mingora, but we will not attack, we will not fire shots,” said Muslim Khan, the Taliban spokesman.

However, the military has refuted claims that it would too cease its operations in the region after the Taliban’s call for truce.

It said that the Taliban is ’staring defeat in the face’, which has forced it to apply such a militant ‘ploy’ to escape the offensive.

Terming Muslim Khan’s statement as ‘part of a broader militant ploy’, the ISPR spokesperson Major General Athar Abbas said: “Khan’s remarks were part of a broader militant ploy to escape. They are now remembering the civilians whom they used to behead and decapitate.”

Earlier, the Army claimed a series of successes in Mingora and other parts of the Swat valley.

It captured Mingora’s Green Square , an area that came to be known as ‘the bloody square’, because the Taliban used the area to throw away the headless corpses of policemen, soldiers and civilians there.

According to an estimate, 1.9 million people have fled the valley and surrounding districts, but up to 20,000 remain in Mingora, where the military entered Saturday after encircling it. Many of the estimated 4,000 militants in the valley are believed to be there, raising the prospect of bloody urban fighting. (ANI)

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