Pakistan's army says it has captured a key militant stronghold near the
Afghan border, in an ongoing offensive against al-Qaida and Taliban
militants in the Bajaur tribal region.
Pakistani Major General
Tariq Khan says military forces gained control of Loi Sam, a strategic
town at the center of militant supply routes. He told reporters
visiting the area Saturday that the military victory followed heavy
resistance from militant fighters.
Pakistani security forces
have been battling al-Qaida and Taliban militants in Bajaur since
August. Khan says nearly 1,500 suspected militants and 73 troops have
died in the operation so far.
But he warned Saturday it could take several more months before Pakistani authorities gain complete control of Bajaur.
United Nations says the fighting has displaced about 190,000 people,
many of whom have fled into neighboring Afghanistan to escape the
The United States has been pushing Pakistan to take
stronger action against the militants. Washington says the fighters are
using Pakistan as a base to attack U.S. and Afghan troops in