Wed, July 30, 2008
World > Asia-Pacific

Pakistan army kills two senior Taliban leaders

2008-07-30 11:09:38 GMT2008-07-30 19:09:38 (Beijing Time) xinhuanet

ISLAMABAD, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's security forces on Wednesday killed two senior local Taliban leaders in a clash with militants in northwestern Pakistan's Swat valley.

The two Taliban leaders were close to Maulana Fazlullah, who is leading a militant organization in Swat valley and vowed to enforce Shariah law, or Islamic law, private Dawn News TV channel reported.

The Swat valley in North West Frontier Province used to be a scenic spot famous for ancient Buddhist culture, but has become a stronghold for local Taliban since last year.

The Pakistan army launched the major offensive in the valley after Taliban kidnapped 25 police and paramilitary soldiers from a police station on Tuesday.

A military statement said on Wednesday that the security forces killed up to 25 militants in the troubled Swat valley. Curfew was also imposed in the whole Swat valley.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan was quoted as saying that the militants destroyed an armored vehicle of the security forces, causing casualties. The army did not confirm the claim.

The government and Taliban in Swat stopped attacks after they signed a peace deal in May. But Taliban claimed that the government has not honored promises to release Taliban prisoners and to withdraw troops from Swat.

Calm returned for some time in Swat after the peace deal was signed but tension grew as Taliban kept on demanding implementation of the agreement.

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