The story appears on

Page A9

September 14, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Pakistan: Swat Taliban chief surrounded

PAKISTAN claimed yesterday to be close to capturing the leader of the Swat Valley Taliban after arresting five of his senior commanders last week.

Pakistan's army launched an offensive in April after militants seized control of much of the valley in the country's volatile northwest. It claims to have cleared most of Swat and killed more than 1,800 insurgents, although sporadic militant attacks continue.

The army announced last Friday that they captured five top Swat Taliban commanders, including spokesman Muslim Khan, which is its first direct success against the militant leadership.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said authorities were now closing in on Swat Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah.

"Fazlullah is surrounded, and he cannot escape us," Malik said in Islamabad.

He also said there were only one or two of the movement's leaders now left.

Malik claimed, "Fazlullah is now irrelevant" as midlevel leaders under him had been either killed or arrested.

Yet militants remain active in the region.

Yesterday, a suicide bomber attempted to attack a checkpoint close to a fuel station in Swat. Security forces fired on his vehicle from a distance and it exploded, killing him, said Major Mohammad Mushtaq.

Elsewhere in the northwest, a bomb killed three paramilitary troops in the Khyber tribal region, where security forces have mounted an offensive to secure a major supply route for foreign forces in Afghanistan.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend