Militants free 120 Pak security personnel in Swat

November 14th, 2007 - 8:26 am ICT by admin  
Sirajuddin, a spokesman and military commander of Maulana Fazlullah, said around 120 FC soldiers and policemen, who had laid down their arms and refused to fight against their fellow Muslims and Pakhtun brothers were released.

These soldiers were deployed at a local hospital, police station and lower courts. The soldiers, he said, were not presented before the media as pledged to them at the time of their surrender.

Sirajuddin had said earlier that the soldiers had approached them through a jirga of local elders to surrender if they were assured safety and allowed to proceed to their homes.

“We promised them our full cooperation and assured them of sending them to their homes safely,” he added.

“In the morning all of them were allowed to go to their respective hometowns,” Siraj claimed.

However, he said the weapons left by the surrendering soldiers and policemen were taken into possession by militants.

“The weapons would not be returned to them. We would use them against the security forces if they did not stop attacks on us and killing innocent people,” the militants’ spokesman argued.

Embattled militants also claimed having taken control over three subdivisions of the restive Swat valley after security forces reportedly vacated their positions or surrendered before them.

Sirajuddin called The News and claimed that their fighters got control of three subdivisions including Matta, Kabal and Khwazakhela where police vacated all their police stations and posts and surrendered before the militants without any resistance.

He said militants’ set-up checkpoints near the vacated buildings of police stations and police posts in the three subdivisions.

Local residents said armed militants were seen setting up checkpoints in the three subdivisions and searching vehicles and passers-by.

At the Matta police station, police left behind an armoured personnel carrier and other arms and ammunitions, which the militants took into possession.

On the other hand security forces restarted attacks on suspected hideouts of militants by firing rockets and mortar shells from FC camp, Police Lines and Saidu Sharif airport.

Sources said that one of the rockets hit a mosque at Dherai Village in the evening where a Pesh Imam (prayer leader), an Afghan national, died and some others staying with him in the mosque were wounded. (ANI)

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