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Pakistani security forces kill 27 Taliban
Islamabad |Tuesday, 2009 6:05:06 PM IST
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Pakistani security forces have killed 27 terrorists and captured 22, the military said Tuesday as its operations against the militants in the Malakand division of the country's troubled northwest entered its 45th day.

During last twenty four hours (to Tuesday afternoon), 27 terrorists were killed and 22 were apprehended in various areas of Malakand, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

One soldier died and nine were injured, the statement added.

This brings to around 1,350 the number of militants who have been killed in three districts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) since the military operations began April 26.

The security forces have lost close to 110 personnel.

Detailing the course of the operations, the statement said 14 terrorists were killed and 22 were apprehended during a search and destroy operation in Swat district's Peochar Valley, while six soldiers were injured.

A cache of arms and ammunition and explosives was also recovered, the statement said.

Peochar was the headquarters of Swat Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah, who has been on the run since the operations began.

The security forces also conducted a cordon and search operation and secured Darmai village in Swat's Sakhra valley.

Terrorists raided the Kalpanai check post in the district, resulting in the death of a soldier, while three others were injured during an exchange of fire between the security forces and terrorists at Uchrai Sar, the statement said.

In Upper Dir, armed tribals supported by the security forces had secured four villages and killed 13 terrorists. Another group had surrounded the villages of Shatkas and Ghazigae to flush out terrorists from the area.

In Lower Dir, the security forces pounded militants positions overnight in the Maidan sub-district while the militants blew up three more schools in the area, Geo TV reported.

The Pakistani military went into action after the Taliban reneged on a peace deal with the NWFP government and instead moved south from their Swat headquarters and occupied Buner, which is just 100 km from Islamabad.

The operations had begun in Lower Dir and later spread to Buner and Swat.

The fighting has spurred the largest and quickest refugee exodus in recent time, with some three million civilians streaming out of the three districts.

The UN estimates that some $543 million would be required for the relief and rehabilitation of the refugees. On Tuesday, the UN said it had received just $136 million of this, while another $15 million had been pledged.

The US, which has already pledged $110 million, has promised another $200 million. Pakistan has also received pledges of $244 million at an international donors conference in Islamabad in May.


( 450 Words)

2009-06-09-17:30:57 (IANS)


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