Pakistan army kills 33 militants in Taliban base

10:05, November 01, 2009      

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Pakistani security forces killed 33 more militants during the last 24 hours, bringing the total fatality to over 300, as the operation in the country's tribal area steadily progressed towards the Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan, the army said Saturday in a daily press release.

The army said four soldiers of the security forces were injured in clashes in the last 24 hours during the ground assault in various areas in the tribal agency near the border with Afghanistan.

In the operation coded as Rah-e-Nijat, or path of salvation, the security forces have commenced an important phase of operation on all three axes, said the statement.

On Jandola-Sararogha axis the important stronghold of Sararoghahas been surrounded from three sides, on Shakai-Kaniguram axis, Karama has been encircled and clearance of Kaniguram has commenced and on Razmak-Makeen axis the security forces have reached the outskirts of Makeen, the army said.

The security forces also recovered some weapons and ammunition during the operation, it said.

In the ending operation in Swat and Malakand, the army said, the security arrested 11 suspects with another eight militants voluntarily surrendered.

The registration process of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from South Waziristan is in progress and more than 35,000 families have been registered so far at Rata Kolachi registration center.

Furthermore, efforts are underway to complete the process within a scheduled time for which setting up of another registration point was being mulled over so as to cope with the mass exodus from South Waziristan.

So far, 7,203 cash cards have been distributed amongst the displaced families of Waziristan, and 19,348 displaced families have been provided with food items, the army said.

Pakistani security forces launched the ground assault on Oct. 17 in the South Waziristan, advancing towards the main base of Taliban militants in Pakistan. The army said that about 30,000 soldiers are in place to take on an estimated 10,000 hard-core Taliban militants in the lawless area.

The military said that the operation was launched in six towns of the area in three directions and is likely to continue for six to eight weeks, but no final deadline can be given.

Source: Xinhua
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