November 25, 2007

Back To Swat

The Pakistani military has committed ground troops to Swat, where a Taliban insurgency had taken control of the first settled area. The army says it has severed enemy lines of communication and killed over 200 militants, and wrested control of mountaintops from the forces loyal to Maulana Fazlullah. If so, it represents the first major military action since Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule in part to fight the radical Islamists:

Pakistani troops have begun a major ground offensive against pro-Taleban militants in a former tourist resort in the North West Frontier province.

Military officials say more than 200 militants have been killed in the past week, but there is no independent confirmation of those figures.

A curfew has been imposed in the area around the Swat Valley, about 160km (100 miles) from Islamabad.

Thousands of civilians are reported to have fled from the fighting.

We've heard before that the army had launched offensives in the Swat region. We'll have to see whether this develops into a full-fledged offensive, or just the prelude to negotiations, as before. If the former turns out to be true, it will be the first good news from Pakistan in a month.


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» Pakistan Update: Ground Offensive in Swat from Noblesse Oblige
The Pakistani army has upped the tempo of it’s offensive in Pakistan, switching from air and artillery attacks to an advancing ground offensive. They’ve also blockaded the region, cutting off food to the Fazlullah Taliban insurgents. They&#... [Read More]