Pakistan Army kills two senior Taliban leaders (Lead)

July 30th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban
Islamabad, July 30 (Xinhua) Pakistan’s security forces Wednesday killed two senior local Taliban leaders in the Swat valley in the northwestern tribal belt. The two Taliban leaders were close to Maulana Fazlullah, who is leading a militant organization in Swat valley and vowed to enforce Shariah or Islamic law, the Dawn News channel reported, without identifying them.

The Pakistan Army launched a major offensive Tuesday in the valley after Taliban kidnapped 25 police and paramilitary soldiers from a police station.

A military statement said Wednesday that the security forces killed up to 25 militants in the troubled Swat valley. Curfew was also imposed in the region.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan was quoted as saying that the militants destroyed an armoured vehicle of the security forces, causing casualties. The army did not confirm the claim.

The government and Taliban in Swat stopped hostilities after they signed a peace deal in May. But Taliban claimed that the government has not honoured its promises of releasing Taliban prisoners and withdrawing troops from the valley.

Calm returned for some time in the restive region after the peace deal was signed but tension started building after the rebels accused the government of reneging on the peace accord.

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