Eight militants killed in Pakistan's restive Swat valley
Pakistan's army claimed on Wednesday it had killed at least
eight pro-Taliban militants, including two important commanders, in the
troubled north-western valley of Swat, dpa reported.
Security forces targeted several militants' positions in Khwazakhela area of the district, army spokesman Major Murad Khan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
"Eight insurgents and their two important commanders, Sher Mohammad and Mohammad Saeed, were killed in the security action," he said.
Swat, formerly a popular tourist destination in the North-West Frontier Province, has seen a rise in violence since October 2007 when government troops launched an offensive against the loyalists of radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah.
He had waged an armed struggle to enforce strict Taliban-style Islamic laws in the region. Hundreds of Islamist militants and dozens of soldiers have died in the months-long clashes.
Separately, media reports said that helicopter gunships and artillery pounded militants' hideouts in tribal district of Bajaur, which is believed to have safe-havens for Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters launching cross border attacks on US-led international forces in Afghanistan.
Twenty-two militants were killed and numerous injured in the action, Geo news channel reported.
But the report could not be officially confirmed. "We do not have any such information on Bajaur so far," Major Murad said.