Pakistan troops kill key militant leader, 4 others

March 1st, 2010 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Mar 1 (DPA) Pakistani security forces Monday killed five Taliban militants, including a top commander, in the northwestern district of Swat, a military official said.
Mohammad Alim Buneri and his four comrades died in a pre-dawn shootout with government forces in the Madin area, located 130 km north-west of Islamabad, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The government had placed a bounty of Rs.10 million ($117,647) on Buneri’s head after thousands of troops moved into Swat last April to flush out the Taliban from the scenic valley.

Buneri was the former head of the Taliban’s pirated FM radio, used to propagate their strict version of Islam and to threaten civilians before the military operation began.

The security forces recovered three assault rifles, two handguns and three grenades from the site of Monday’s shootout, the military official said.

The military has regained control of Swat and its neighbouring districts, but Taliban insurgents continue to carry out occasional attacks against security forces and civilians from their hideouts in the mountains.

Last week, a suicide bomber detonated explosives near military vehicles, killing three soldiers and 10 civilians in Swat’s main town, Mingora. More than 40 people were injured.

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