Pakistan puts down 70 militants in NWFP

Other News Materials 10 June 2009 18:00 (UTC +04:00)

Pakistani forces have killed at least 70 militants over two days of clashes in Bannu district of the country's volatile North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), reports Press TV.

Local officials told Press TV's correspondent in the region that the militants were killed by security contingents patrolling Bannu city.

"More than 70 militants have been killed during two days of operation in Baka Khel and Jani Khel areas of FR Bannu," said an official on condition of anonymity.

They also said that helicopter gunships pounded militants' strongholds in different parts of the city, where a curfew had been imposed for the second consecutive day.

Independent sources, however, have not confirmed the figures released by the authorities. It is also not clear which group the deceased militants belonged to, or whether there were key members among those killed.

The Pakistani army has recently escalated its war against the pro-Taliban militants in three northwestern districts, killing dozens while raiding on hideouts close to a lawless tribal belt.

According to the police, the surge came after talks broke down between tribal elders and the government -- which demanded that the elders hand over militants responsible for the kidnapping of more than 100 students in a June attack.