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US drone attack kills 8 Taliban men in Pak; 159 surrender in Swat

Source: PTI
September 14, 2009 19:23 IST
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Stepping up their attack on militants, a US drone fired missiles hitting a Taliban hideout killing eight militants, including two foreign terrorists, as 159 insurgents surrendered to the army in Pakistan's restive North Waziristan Frontier Province region on Monday.

The drone fired a missile at the hideout of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in Turikhel village in North Waziristan Agency killing eight militants, television news channels reported.

Reports said at least two of the persons killed were foreign militants. Pakistani officials use the word 'foreigners' to describe Al Qaeda militants.

The stepped-up drone attacks came as the army maintained pressure on Taliban in the Swat valley and adjacent Dir where 159 militants surrendered to security forces.

Colonel Amir Khan told reporters in Pichor, the main insurgent base in Swat, that among the militants who had surrendered were six boys recruited by the Taliban to act as suicide bombers.

In another part of the Swat valley, the Pakistan army killed 16 Taliban militants, while one soldier was killed and another wounded, said an army statement giving details of the campaign over the past 24 hours.

Those captured include Muslim Khan, the spokesman of the Taliban for the Swat valley.

The statement said Pakistani forces were closing in on a wounded Swat Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, whose whereabouts have been disclosed by five Taliban militants captured by the army.

"Fazlullah is surrounded and cannot escape us," the army said.

In the almost five month military campaign in Swat valley and Dir, Pakistani forces have claimed to have killed 1,800 Taliban militants.

Monday's drone strike was the third within a week in North Waziristan, which is considered a stronghold for the local Taliban and Al Qaeda.

The missile strike comes as media reports said that the much-awaited Pakistan army's push into Waziristan would come after the holy month of Ramzan ends next week.
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