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1,000 Taliban killed in offensive, says Pakistan

May 18, 2009 14:19 IST

The Pakistan govenment's military offensive against the Taliban in the country's strife torn northwest has resulted in atleast 1,000 taliban terrorists being killed, Pakistan's Interior minister Rehman Malik told the Dawn newspaper.  

Malik said the operations would continue till the Taliban are flushed out. Speaking to media-persons at Mardan, the minister asked the refugees to return to their homes. Malik said the offensive have also brought Buner and Lower Dir district under the government's control and they would try to complete the operation as soon as possible.

Malik said that talks would be possible only if the Taliban laid down arms, but their commanders would not be spared. The military offensive has sparked an exodus of nearly a million people, who are now staying in relief camps. Pakistani military sources warned that some Taliban were trying to flee after shaving off their beards to blend in with the refugees.