Pak army chief terms operations against Taliban 'successful'


Kayani met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani this morning to apprise him of the operations going on for nearly three months. They also discussed matters related to national security, an official statement said.

The meeting assumes significance as the Pakistan army is wrapping up its operations in Swat, Buner and Dir areas of NWFP and preparing for a major offensive on the Taliban stronghold of Waziristan.

The statement said that Gen Kayani and Gilani discussed the "successful army operation" in the Malakand division in the country's northwest.

Notwithstanding the authorities' claim about the success of the army operations, Taliban fighters raided the house of a Mayor and killed his brother near Aloch in Swat.

The house of Muhammad Ali, a 'nazim' or mayor, was attacked by the militants, the military said today. Ali's brother was killed and his nephew and a neighbour were injured in the attack.

Over the past few months, the militants have targeted political leaders opposed to them, especially those from the Awami National Party, and local officials like nazims.

In a separate incident, militant commander Bakthe-e-Jehan surrendered before security forces at Charbagh, a former Taliban stronghold, while four militants were captured by troops during a search operation at Qadar Kandao and Chate Kale in Swat.

Eleven suspects were apprehended by security forces during a search operation at Kuza Banda in Swat.

A jirga or council of people from over a dozen villages gathered at Khwazakhela, another former Taliban stronghold, and said they would cooperate with security forces in the drive against the militants.

Troops conducting a search in the Godiwala mountains in Lakki Marwat area seized six suicide jackets, two drums and six bags filled with explosives, 24 time bombs, a huge cache of arms and ammunition and police uniforms, the military said.

In the troubled Mohmand tribal region, security forces today demolished 11 houses of suspected militants. Troops currently conducting an operation against militants in Mohmand Agency also targeted Taliban hideouts at Anbar and Haleemzai.

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