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Military: Pakistani Troops Kill at Least 32 Militants in Northwest

Pakistan's military is intensifying its campaign to wipe out the Taliban in parts of the country's volatile northwest.

Officials claim troops killed at least 32 militants as they tried to clear a main road near the town of Sarwaki in the South Waziristan tribal region. The death toll cannot be independently verified.

The battle there follows Friday's airstrikes along the Afghan border, the first steps in a new offensive targeting Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Troops also targeted militants in the Malakand region Saturday, where troops have been carrying out an offensive that began in late April.

Meanwhile, major military action may be coming to an end in Swat.

Major General Sajjad Ghani told reporters on a military sponsored tour of the area "high intensity" operations could be over in about a week.

Already, officials have asked refugees to return to Buner district, where efforts against Taliban militants are also wrapping up.

Many refugees have been staying with friends or relatives, and aid organizations warn many communities are being overwhelmed.

On Saturday, the Pakistani army distributed supplies to help refugees and those hosting refugees in the southern city of Karachi.

An estimated 2.5 million people have fled fighting in Pakistan's northwest since the military began battling Taliban fighters in the greater Swat valley more than a month ago. Reports from South Waziristan say some residents have fled their homes in anticipation of violence.