Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Trump: Fake News And Unnamed Sources

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Administration, Trukey Crackdown, French Presidential Race (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Administration, Trukey Crackdown, French Presidential Race (part 2)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Aux Champs-Elysées: The story behind France's most famous avenue

Read more

#TECH 24

Foosball gets its own social network

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Inlays and veneers: The art of French cabinetmaking

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

How should companies respond to a Trump Twitter attack?

Read more

#THE 51%

Trump abortion funding ban: Europe tries to fill the breach

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: India’s Kuki people, possible descendants of one of Israel's lost tribes

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)