09/02/2009, 00.00
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Army against the Taliban in north-west: 45 extremists killed, hundreds arrested

Offensive in Khyber, in the north-west of the country on the border with Afghanistan. The military find the bodies of 41 people in Swat, most were extremists killed by local people, tired of harassment and violence.
Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than 50 extremists killed and at least one hundred arrested. That is the toll from a Pakistani army operation in a tribal area in the north-west of the country. In Swat, the military has also found 41 corpses, most of them belonging to Taliban fighters.  
Official sources report an offensive in the Khyber Agency, on the border with Afghanistan, in which forty extremists were killed. During the raid, the army destroyed four hideouts used by fighters and demolished the homes of some leading members of the Taliban insurgency. In clashes in the Swat Valley, dating to August 28, 15 fighters were killed. More than 100 others surrendered to army troops. The news, however, has not been confirmed by independent sources.
The Army has also found about forty dead bodies in the valley of Swat. Government sources report that the bodies belong to local Taliban who were killed for "revenge" by the locals, tired of being subjected to harassment and violence by the fundamentalists.  
Since April last year, Pakistan has been carrying out an offensive in areas north-west of the country, to root out Islamic fundamentalist guerrillas. Washington has repeatedly asked Islamabad for "decisive action" against terrorism, in exchange for substantial economic aid and incentives. But the few independent sources still in the area explain that, despite the proclamations of government, the Taliban resistance is still active.
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