Pak soldiers, pro-Taliban militants clash in Swat

November 14th, 2007 - 2:54 am ICT by admin  
Sources said the gun- battle started after, FC personnel surrounded the madarsah of Maulana Fazalullah.

A shell fired from madarsah landed in a residential area. Explosions were also heard in the area and gunship helicopters were seen making flights over the area.

According to reports, Fazalullah is not present in the madarsah.

Talking to Geo News, ISPR spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said that police and FC personnel were conducting operation since two days to restore law and order in the area.

Gunship helicopters are taking part in the operation on the request of provincial government and situation is under control.

About casualties, Major General Waheed Arsahd said that he has no reports in this regard so far.

Earlier, at least 20 people, including 18 Pakistani troops, died in a blast in the troubled Swat district of the NWFP, The News reported.

The blast took place at Nawan Killi, about a kilometre from Swat city, Mingora, at around 2:45 p.m. on Thursday. It set off an explosion of ammunition carried inside the vehicle carrying Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel, triggering bullet fire.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior police official said that it was probably a suicide attack, in which the bomber rammed his car into the truck carrying around 45 security personnel.

Maulana Fazlullah, a powerful rebel cleric who advocates jihad and Taliban-style rule in the region, went underground after the attack on the army convoy, the Online quoted sources, as saying.

Fazlullah, who used to run an illegal FM radio station in Swat, had earlier announced after consultations with clerics that he would go to Kohistan.

Sources said that he was not in Kohistan and was believed to be hiding in Swat’s Matta area.

Earlier, the army announced on Wednesday that it was sending in 2,500 additional troops to Swat to maintain law and order.

Fazlullah warned in a speech the same day that his supporters would retaliate if security forces attacked them. (ANI)

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