The Pakistani military says it has prevailed over Taliban militants in
Mingora, the main town in Swat Valley. The military says it gained
control a week after re-entering the town to dislodge Taliban fighters.
Athar Abbas told reporters that government forces are in full control
of Mingora, despite encountering pockets of resistance on the outskirts
of the town.
Abbas said 25 militants, including two top
Taliban commanders, were killed and three other commanders were
arrested during military operations over the past 24 hours.
said a huge cache of arms and ammunition were discovered along with a
training base of militant leader Maulana Fazlullah, whose fighters have
waged a two year long battle to impose strict Islamic law in the
Abbas said local citizens were key to the military's success in Mingora.
"The people of Mingora have started pinpointing the militants who were trying to pose as innocent citizens," he said.
with Mingora in hand, Abbas said the battle was far from over in Swat,
where government forces are still fighting militants in two other
Abbas also said the battle includes keeping track of top Taliban militants in the region.
are refraining from announcing or declaration unless or until in hand,
some proof, some smoking gun, which is difficult but we are trying our
best. But I can assure you, that the top tier leadership have been
targeted and it is constantly being followed with our intelligence," he
It is impossible to independently confirm information
released by the Pakistani military because the conflict area is closed
Military analysts say the real sign of
military success will be if the Pakistani army can hold its territory
and keep Taliban militants from coming back to fight another day.
military launched a major offensive nearly one month ago in Swat Valley
and neighboring areas to oust Taliban militants who were extending
their control over the northwestern region, near the border with
The campaign is strongly backed by Washington and
other Western allies, who see it as a test of the government's resolve
to fight extremism in the Pakistan.
The United Nations says
the fighting has caused more than 2 million people to flee the region,
raising fears of a humanitarian crisis.
This week, Pakistan
experienced two deadly terrorist attacks: one in Lahore that killed
around 30 people; and another in Peshawar at a popular market that left
at least 14 people dead.
Major cities, including the capital,
Islamabad, were put on high alert after a top Taliban commander claimed
responsibility for the Lahore attack, calling it revenge for the Swat