Islamabad, July 8 (ANI): The operation in Swat and Buner has been completed and these areas have been cleared of militants, the Pakistan Army claimed today.
Addressing a press conference accompanied with Federal Information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said a meeting with Army chief Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani was held to discuss the issue of IDPs.
Kaira said that the area had been cleared of “terrorists”, but a military statement issued Wednesday said that some pockets of resistance remained, The News reported.
The military claims to have killed about 1,600 militants in their northwest operation, but such tolls are impossible to verify.
As Swat operations wrap up, military and government officials have vowed to open up a second front against Pakistan’s main Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud, who is holed up in the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border.
Major General Athar Abbas said that there are terrorists in some areas conducting activities, adding the extremists are being chased and their training centers have been razed.
He added the process of targeting the hideouts of extremists will continue for some time and the Pak Army will stay in Swat.
He said the army had “credible” information that Fazlullah was hit; said Major General Athar Abbas giving no further details about the hardline cleric’s condition.
“In one of the strikes, Fazlullah has been injured,” he said, adding that the air strike wounding the commander hit two days ago in Swat.
Armed Taliban marched into the district of Buner in April, putting Fazlullah’s fighters within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of the national capital Islamabad, and Pakistan unleashed its fresh military offensive.
Abbas said that the operation in Swat and two other northwest districts was almost over, but said the top leadership remained elusive, with many simply disappearing into the mountains of the rugged region, The News reported.
“We are constantly targeting militant leaders. They always keep themselves protected,” Abbas said. (ANI)