Security forces kill 45 militants in NW Pakistan

By Xinhua

Islamabad : Pakistan’s security forces killed more than 45 militants in three days of clashes in northwestern province, NNI news agency reported Tuesday.

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Army spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad was quoted by the news agency as saying that the clashes in the Swat Valley of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) left 49 people dead and 15 soldiers injured.

The security forces resumed their operations against militants’ positions in the troubled Swat Valley Tuesday, an army statement said.

It added that at least two militants were killed in the operation by security forces in Kuza Bande area of the valley.

Meanwhile, the militants vacated four bunkers near the airport, according to hardline cleric Maulana Fazalullah, who has been leading thousands of supporters against the government in Swat, demanding enforcement of Islamic law in the area.

He asked his armed supporters to leave the place and move to other places in a broadcast on the rebels’ FM radio station.

Local TV channels reported that the radio station was blocked by the authorities Tuesday. The radio was broadcasting speeches of Maulana Fazalullah and other militants.

Arshad said that the security forces had also arrested several militants and that “local people are supporting the action against militants.”

Around 2,500 security personnel were sent to the Swat Valley Oct 24 to intensify their crackdown on militants, which left more than 100 militants dead so far.