200 Taliban killed in Swat operation
The security forces said on Sunday they had killed up to 200 Taliban in 24 hours during the on-going operation in Swat as they secured the Shangla top and important towns and ridges in Dir and Buner.

Troops engaged the Taliban in their Peochar headquarters and at hideouts in Kanju, Mingora, Banai Baba, Namal, Qambar, Fizagath, Tiligram and Chamtalai, the Inter-Services Public Relations directorate said in an update.

Taliban's indiscriminate mortar fire and roadside bombs planted in populated areas killed an unspecified number of civilians. The Taliban also blew up two schools at Barikot and Maniar, and killed a local prayer leader, Zahid Khan, at Nishat Chowk.

Thousands of fearful civilians - many on foot or donkey-pulled carts - streamed out of the conflict-ridden valley as the authorities relaxed the curfew from 6am to 3pm.

The security forces secured the Shangla top advancing up to Biladram town, encountering improvised roadside bombs and fierce Taliban resistance on Chamtalai bridge.

The troops resumed the operation from the important Point 2245 and Point 2266 heights captured on Saturday, and advanced up to Shalwal Kandao, where one soldier was killed.

The security forces also destroyed a Taliban training camp at Banai Baba, where up to 150 Taliban were confirmed dead.

In Dir, troops secured Kala Dag and advanced up to Haya Sarai and continued to secure positions on Gulabad heights. The Taliban abducted a TV reporter from Chakdara.

Helicopter gunships fired at Taliban hideouts in Barwada Char in Buner, and two Taliban ammunition dumps were destroyed. Troops secured key ridges around Sultanwas, surrounding the Taliban.
Posted by: Fred 2009-05-11