Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ACROSS AFRICA

LIBERIA UNMIL MISSION: PEACEKEEPERS PREPARE TO HAND OVER TO GOVERNMENT

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Boris Backs Out After Brexit

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DRC ELECTIONS: KABILA SAYS POLL WILL GO AHEAD

Read more

THE DEBATE

Chaos at Westminster: UK's post-brexit leadership battle (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Chaos at Westminster: UK's post-brexit leadership battle (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Matthew McConaughey and ‘Free State of Jones' shine new light on American civil war

Read more

FOCUS

Zika virus spreading fast across Puerto Rico

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Take a break: France’s love affair with vacations

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

THE INTERVIEW

Read more

Asia-pacific

Military attacks Taliban after premier's order to eliminate terrorists

Text by Marc LELLIEVRE

Latest update : 2009-05-13

Pakistan bombed Taliban positions in the Swat valley on Friday, a day after Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said armed forces would "eliminate militants and terrorists". Nearly 70 militants have been killed, according to a military spokesman.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has ordered soldiers leading the anti-Taliban offensive in the Swat valley to “eliminate the terrorists”. Authorities also imposed a long-term curfew on part of the territory to allow troops to deploy.

“To restore the honor and dignity of our nation, and to protect our people, armed forces are called on to eliminate the militants and terrorists,” the prime minister stated in a televised speech on Thursday.

His address came a day after President Asif Ali Zardari met in Washington with President Barack Obama of the United States and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan for talks on the conflict-ridden region.

The Pakistani military began a third day of day of operations in the Swat valley on Friday amid growing fears of a humanitarian crisis in the region.

Swat offensive

The offensive against Taliban forces in Swat seems to be gaining steam.

Pakistani aircraft bombed Taliban positions in Swat on Friday. Helicopter gunships, fighters and troops were all involved in operations in Swat, and up to 12 militants were killed after as many as 55 were killed on Thursday, Major Nasir Khan, a military spokesman in Swat, said in a telephone interview with Reuters.  Taliban fighters, however, continued targeting local police forces, besieging a police station in Matta, in southern Swat.

Civilians were also hit hard by the conflict: 35 people have been reported killed in the crossfire. The army has not confirmed civilian losses but recognized there had been “collateral damage” to the fighting. 

Humanitarian crisis

Swat valley residents continued to flee the region on Thursday, making the most of the temporary lifting of the 6 pm curfew.

NGOs now fear a wide scale humanitarian crisis. The International Committee of the Red Cross indicated in a press release that it is getting ready to supply up to 120,000 displaced persons with food and first aid.

Date created : 2009-05-08

COMMENT(S)