Troops claim gains in Swat
MINGORA: Security forces on Saturday took control of more strategic locations in upper Swat, pushing the militants to snow-capped mountainous areas of Kabal and Peuchar tehsils. Over 20 militants were arrested and explosives, ammunition, vehicles and Pakistani passports seized as the security forces resumed a search and cordon drive against the hardcore militants loyal to cleric Maulana Fazlullah in Loe Namal area on Saturday morning.
However, there was no report of any casualty. Officials and residents said law-enforcement agencies personnel swept the area without any resistance as the militants had left before their arrival. Only 10 of the militants were apprehended by the troops.
The militants had regrouped in upper Swat after fleeing the settled areas and established their headquarters in Loe Namal from where they were launching attacks on government installations.
In a raid in Khwazakhela the military forces arrested 10 more alleged militants and took them to undisclosed locations. The troops raided a workshop where equipment for the maulana’s and 35 other FM radio stations were stated to have been prepared.
The houses of some close aides of Maulana Fazlullah were set on fire by the security forces with the help of local people.
Eight to 10 mortar rounds fired from Dir landed outside Razmak camp, said an ISPR release. The troops responded with 12.7mm guns and 81mm mortar fire. No casualty or damage was reported.
District Police Officer Waqif Khan told a press conference in Mingora that the law-enforcement agencies had achieved the primary target of the military operation in Swat by clearing the valley of militants and establishing the government’s writ.
He said the valley would soon be cleared of the remaining handful of militants and peace would return to the area soon.
The DPO, while displaying recovered weapons, said 2,500kg of explosives, a huge quantity of ball bearings, six guns, two grenades, 13 vehicles of various government departments, dozens of wireless sets and communications system had been seized from various hideouts of the militants and a mosque in Loe Namal area.
Curfew will be relaxed in Swat district excluding Namal, Chuprial and Bariam Bridge areas of Matta tehsil. Life as a whole remained peaceful in Swat as all shops were open and traffic plied on the roads.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.