Thursday, May 21, 2009

80 militants killed in Swat operation

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ISLAMABAD: Security Forces have cleared Sultanwas after intense
clashes while 80 terrorists were killed during clearance of the area,
Director General ISPR Major General Athar Abass said in a media
briefing on Operation Rah-e-Rast, here on Wednesday.He said six
vehicles of militants, which were under their, were also destroyed
during the operation. Meanwhile, the ISPR confirmed that the security
forces have successfully secured the Binai Baba Ziarat, near Shangla,
a stronghold and a main terrorist den in the area. During the
operation, the terrorists suffered heavy causalities.

In Matta, the security forces after crushing stiff resistance by
militants, fanned them out and took over the portions in the town.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, Secretary
Information and Broadcasting Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal and Principal
Information Officer Shabbir Anwar were also present.

The Director General ISPR said that during the clearance of Sultanwas,
the security forces encountered seven IEDs which were effectively
defused. Sultanwas was main stronghold of terrorist-miscreants in
Buner, where they have made concrete underground bunkers and
ammunition dumps.

The local populace of Sultanwas had posed severe resistance to the
terrorists and they were unable to get their positions in the area.
But later, the terrorists through an effective suicide attack had
taken over the positions.

He said one soldier embraced Shahadat while 9 others were injured
during the last 24 hours in various areas of Swat.

In the Piochar area, the search and destroy operations by the security
forces were underway while clearance of compounds and houses in Matta
is also in progress.

Search and cordon operation also continued at Kanju where three
soldiers were injured during the operation.

In Takhtaband, clearance operation of the village is in progress where
one soldier embraced shahadat while six others were injured.

Answering a question, Major Gen. Athar Abbas said that around 10 to 15
% people of the total population are present in their houses in Swat,
who have been asked to keep themselves aloof from the terrorists. He
said they also have been asked to come forward and help the security
forces in identifying the terrorists, especially those who have
changed their clad.

When asked to confirm the killing of Maulvi Fazal Ullah and another
terrorist leader, Major General Athar Abbass said that a number of
terrorists have been killed in the last 24 hour operation but anything
could be confirmed after investigations on the ground.

On any possibility of spill out of terrorists from the Operation area
to other adjoining parts, he said, that the security forces have
besieged the terrorists in the area and there is hardly any
possibility of their sneaking out of the area. He said the planners of
Operation had already given due preference to this aspect and the
security forces are keeping strict check on this factor.

He said efforts are in hand to conclude the Operation in the shortest
possible time with the minimal chances of the collateral damage caused
to the life as well as the property.

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