Monday, June 22, 2009

Pakistan army says in final phase of Swat offensive

Reuters India — Pakistan security forces are near the end of their offensive in the Swat valley, the army said on Monday, with more than 40,000 people on the move before the next phase starts against the Pakistani Taliban's headquarters.
The offensive in Swat, 120 km (80 miles) northwest of Islamabad, came after Taliban gains raised fears for the future of nuclear-armed Pakistan, a vital ally for the United States as it strives to defeat al Qaeda and stabilise Afghanistan.
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Thousands flee as Pakistan increases attacks on Taliban stronghold

Telegraph UK — Nearly two million people have fled fighting in northwest Pakistan, most since early May when the military began an offensive against Taliban insurgents in Swat Valley.
Army and intelligence officials have claimed that nearly 100 militants have been killed in South Waziristan since fighting erupted there last week.
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Pakistan faces challenge of cementing victory against Taliban

L. A. Times — The Pakistani army has exceeded expectations in its offensive against Taliban fighters in northwestern Pakistan, effectively marshaling arms, tactics and political support. But the tougher challenge will be preventing the extremists from returning, or from regrouping elsewhere.
"The key question is whether the army can hold the ground afterward," said Urmila Venugopalan, a South Asia expert with the defense analysis group Jane's.
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