Pak kills Taliban commander, arrests 'terror sympathiser' imam



Ten people, including an imam of a mosque who supported the Taliban, were arrested during search and clearance operations in Malakand, which includes the Swat valley, over the past 24 hours.

Two soldiers were killed when troops conducting a search operation at Sarkari Qila in the Bajaur tribal region were targeted with an improvised explosive device, the military said in a statement.

In Swat, Taliban commander Maaz of the Qambar region was killed by security forces during a search operation.

Troops apprehended an imam of a mosque who was a "supporter and sympathiser of terrorists" while carrying out a search near Fatehpur.

Six militants were captured during a search near Charbagh, a former Taliban stronghold in Swat. Three more militants were apprehended during an operation at Pia village near Madyan.

Troops also destroyed infrastructure created by militants, including a large number of tunnels, during search operations at several places across the Swat valley. The militants built an extensive network of tunnels in which they hid to evade army patrols and air strikes by gunship helicopters.

Two tunnels were destroyed at Wakilabad near Khwazakhela, a former militant stronghold while four tunnels were demolished near Waliabad. Another tunnel was destroyed and communication equipment recovered during an operation at Ghaznavi near Peochar, the main base of the Taliban leadership in Swat.

Security forces also seized a cache of weapons, including 17 rifles, three machine guns and four pistols, during an operation at Tutan Banda.

In Dir district, troops defused five IEDs during a search operation at Khanai and Lal Qila. Three militant hideouts were demolished by troops during operations at several places in Buner district.

The army says it is currently wrapping up its operations in Swat before launching an offensive against Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud and his network in the Waziristan tribal region

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