Pakistan: Twelve militants killed in recent fighting

Saturday, November 7, 2009

North and South Waziristan (2006)
Image: Bejnar.

Pakistan's military has said that its soldiers killed twelve militants in recent operations targeting Taliban insurgents in South Waziristan.

The military said security forces battled militants on Friday as they fought for control of Makeen, an area considered the main base of the Pakistani Taliban.

The military statement also says troops battled to tighten their control over Sararogha, which is another Taliban stronghold. Five Pakistani soldiers were wounded in the operations.

"The fight against militancy [...] is a long and tough battle as we have to not only fight the extremists but also the extremist mindset. The adversary in this battle should not be underestimated," Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday.

The accounts of the Pakistan army's offensive in the tribal region near the Afghan border are difficult to verify, as journalists and aid workers are not allowed into the battle zone.

Pakistan launched an offensive against the Taliban last month in South Waziristan, an area that is believed to be a stronghold for rebels, and where the government does not have much influence. According to the Pakistani army, hundreds of militants were killed since the operation was launched, but the Taliban denies the claims.