Taliban abduct 10 Pak soldiers in Malakand

May 1st, 2009 - 3:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Peshawar, May. 1 (ANI): Taliban militants have kidnapped 10 Pakistani soldiers from their local headquarters in Dir town, which borders the troubled Swat valley.

The abduction took place in the Upper Dir district of Malakand, where an ongoing military offensive is taking place against the Taliban.

The Dawn quoted Dir police chief Ijaz Ahmed as saying, that 60 Taliban militants stormed the local paramilitary headquarters and snatched 10 personnel around noon.

There were only a few personnel at the headquarters, because most were deployed in the field, Ahmed added.

Atiq-ur-Rehman, head of the district administration in Upper Dir, confirmed that more than 50 armed militants attacked the local Dir Levies paramilitary headquarters and abducted 10 personnel.

On Thursday, militants blew up a camp of the Frontier Constabulary and looted a huge cache of weapons as Pakistani Military continued bombing Taliban hideouts in Buner District.

Taliban militants also made two FC platoons surrender before allowing them to leave. This was the same platoon which had been besieged at the Jawar Camp on Wednesday night.

According to the sources, the militants took away an APC, besides a large haul of weapons before destroying the camp and a checkpoint. In a related incident, a police station was set on fire in Pir Baba town.

So far, the Taliban has taken control of Ambela Chowk, Pacha, Nawagai, Jungai, Swarai, Gagera, Dewana Baba, Pir Baba and Sultanwas, local residents said.

Security forces stepped up air strikes, and ground forces, backed by tanks and heavy artillery positioned in Rustam area of the Mardan district, attacked targets in Buner.

Planes bombed Karaker, Dermai pass, Darazai pass and Ambela. Militants have blown up two bridges near Ambela in a bid to block the movement of ground forces.

Hundreds of families, which include Afghan refugees, have been affected due to the latest offensive, and have left their homes.

In Daggar, people were facing shortage of food and other essentials items because of curfew. Troops had arrived in the town by helicopters on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, two children were injured in shelling by helicopters in Gul Abad as security forces continued their operation in parts of Lower Dir district. (ANI)

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