Taleban stronghold in Swat cleared by Pak military

Islamabad, May 30: Pakistani forces cleared a Taleban stronghold in Swat and drove militants out of a town in the northwest valley, the military said yesterday, amid worries over the return of more than two million displaced people.

The army said that it successfully cleared the Taleban’s stronghold at Peochar village as its cordon and search operation continued to wrest back complete control of strategic Peochar Valley.

Pakistani security forces yesterday killed 28 more militants and arrested another seven in the districts of Swat. The army also said troops have almost secured Mingora.

The military had sealed off most routes into Swat, choking off supplies and reinforcements for the militants, and the offensive had already targeted the militant’s logistics bases.

Police have arrested 39 suspected Taleban fighters hiding among refugees from a military offensive, a senior officer said yesterday.