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Cleared Taliban from S Waziristan, claims Pakistan

Source: PTI
November 17, 2009 19:00 IST
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The Pakistan Army on Tuesday claimed that its forces waging a tough ground offensive in the lawless South Waziristan tribal region have captured most of the towns and populated centres from the Taliban.

"The myth has been broken that this area will be the graveyard for the army," military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told foreign and local journalists who were flown to Sararogha, once a Taliban stronghold.

The army claimed that Sararogha, believed to be a bastion of Uzbek and Arab fighters, had been captured after a five-day fight in which 180 Taliban militants were killed, Geo TV reported.

Abbas said that the army had captured most populated centres in South Waziristan and completely crippled Taliban supply lines.

"Major towns and population centres are now firmly under Army control," he said.

The claims by the Pakistani army spokesman that its troops had cleared most of the region come amid media reports from Washington that the US is pressing Islamabad to expand and reorient its military campaign in the area.

The American administration, according to New York Times wants the Pakistan Army to forge ahead into North Waziristan.

The US also wants Pakistan Army to support American military campaign across the border in Afghanistan by keeping up the pressure on Taliban and al-Qaeda in FATA. 

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