Taliban militants regrouping in Pakistan's tribal area

08:18, June 28, 2010      

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Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain of Pakistan's northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said on Sunday that Taliban militants are regrouping in the tribal area of the country.

"Everyone is aware that Talibans are regrouping in tribal regions. We are not oblivious of the threat," said Hussain at a press conference held in Peshawar, capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, adding that the government is determined to deal with the militants.

The minister's statement came a day after militants killed an army officer and two other soldiers in a bomb attack in South Waziristan tribal region, where the army had declared victory earlier this year.

The attack at Badar area of South Waziristan has raised concerns that the militants have returned to some areas in South Waziristan. The area is the hometown of Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsood.

Taliban militants had fled South Waziristan after thousands of security forces launched major air and ground offensives in October last year.

Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq said on Friday that the militants have returned to South Waziristan to resume attacks on the forces. He also appointed Ihsanullah Ihsan as the deputy spokesman.

Taliban has announced return at a time when the government has initiated registration for the repatriation of thousands of people displaced as the result of fighting. The militants had asked displaced tribesmen not to return in view of their possible attacks on the forces.

The security forces have set up bunkers in the areas of Mehsood tribe to maintain security.

Analysts say that the military operation has not destroyed the Taliban command system and their major commanders are alive and they had left the area as war tactics.

The Pakistani army has claimed to have killed up to 1,000 militants in South Waziristan, but the claim could not be independently verified.

Source: Xinhua


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