Eighty per cent of Mohmand cleared, says army
[Dawn] Security forces on Tuesday said they flushed out most of the militants from the Mohmand tribal region.

Due to normalisation of the situation, schools and some bazaars had opened in the cleared areas and government offices also started their operations.

"Mohmand is a big agency and up till now 80 per cent of the area has been cleared," commander of the Mohmand Operation, Colonel Saifullah, said.

He said operations near the Afghan border were necessary as militants take refuge in the region.

Around 350 militants were killed while 300 others were severely injured, he said.

Regarding the security forces' causalities, he said around 65 soldiers had been martyred in 2008 and 2009.

He said resistance was still being faced in the region's Safi tehsil and Khwazai tehsil but now the forces were shifting towards the next phase which entailed bringing stability to the area.

Security forces rubbished off reports of Nato forces penetrating Mohmand and other tribal areas and said Pakistan's borders were being tightly guarded.

Colonel Saifullah did not give any tentative date for wrapping up the operation but said the army wants to wind it up as soon as possible.

Posted by: Fred 2010-01-06