Troops kill six Taliban in Swat as displaced return

PESHAWAR: Troops have killed six militants in the Swat valley, where the government has started bussing home thousands of those displaced by a military offensive, officials said Wednesday.

Officials say the pace of returns to the northwest district has quickened in recent days although many civilians are fearful about security after two months of fierce fighting between government troops and Taliban militants.

‘Six militants were killed when troops retaliated and returned fire after a militant attack on an army checkpost in Kabal town on Tuesday night,’ a military official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

A senior police official in Swat confirmed the incident and said there were no army losses.

On Tuesday, the military reported killings in Swat for the first time in days, announcing that nine militants were shot dead in the last 24 hours.

Pakistan says more than 1,700 militants and around 160 security personnel were killed in operations to crush the Taliban in northwest districts since late April, but the death tolls are impossible to verify independently.

The army launched a massive offensive in late April in Buner and Lower Dir, before focusing the fight on militants in Swat, where the Taliban concentrated a two-year insurgency to enforce sharia law.

Last week, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani unveiled plans to start sending home the nearly two million people displaced by the conflict and said the military had ‘eliminated’ the extremists.


Peace Jirga leaves for talks with Maulana Sufi at Deolai

SWAT: Defunct outfit Tahrik-e-Nifaz Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) and Swat Peace Jirga are holding talks today, as a delegation of national peace Jirga has left for Deolai.

Sources said that the defunct outfit TNSM and Swat Peace Jirga are holding talks today at Deolai area of Tehsil Kabal here, which would mainly focus on future strategy for the restoration of permanent peace in the district.

Later on, TNSM caravan will reach Landakai from Deolai en-route Shahderai and Shamozai and finally to the Mingora town.

TNSM spokesman, Amir Izzat Khan said that the peace march aims at wiping out the fears and panic from among the affected people. The peace caravan will stay put in Swat until peace restored in the entire district.

Swat education department said that government boys’ schools all across the district have been declared open, while the private schools in the area were already open.

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We’ll expose killers of Musa Khan: Hamid Mir

SWAT: The journalist community is holding protest rallies all over the country against the murder of Geo News reporter Musa Khan Khel.

A condolence meeting was held at the Swat Press Club in which the journalists strongly condemned the murder of Musa Khan and offered fateha for him.

Addressing on this occasion, senior journalist Hamid Mir said that Musa Khan was a brave journalist and if we consider him the ambassador of peace then we have to continue his mission.

Hamid Mir said that whatever was done with Musa Khan is very important at the moment.

They said that we would expose those whom we think suspects regarding the murder of Musa Khan Khel and told that there were signs of 32 bullets on the dead body.

Hamid Mir said that earlier three of our colleagues and sister of a colleague were also killed.

The journalists on this occasion urged the government to take measures for the security of the journalists.

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Geo News correspondent laid to rest

SWAT: The correspondent of Geo News and The News Musa Khankhel has been laid to rest in Swat.

According to sources, funeral prayer of Musa Khan was offered near his house in Mingora.

Journalists, tribal notables and large of people attended the Musa Khan’s funeral prayer and burial. Touching scenes were witnessed at this occasion.

Meanwhile, the journalist community across the country organized protest demonstration against killing of Musa Khan.

some unknown persons shot dead Musa Khan yesterday in Mingora.

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TNSM delegation reaches Swat

TIMERGARA: The delegation of Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) led by its Chief Maulana Sufi Muhammad has reached the troubled Swat valley to fulfill its promise of restoring peace.

According to sources, the spokesman for the TNSM said that Maulana Sufi Muhammad would remain in Swat till restoration of calm. During his stay in Swat, he will convince Maulana Fazlullah of renouncing militancy after the enforcement of a Nizam-e-Adl Regulation.

The spokesman of TNSM Ameer Izzat Khan said that Sufi would hold public gatherings in the valley to persuade the people, particularly those who had picked up arms, stop fighting after the government Nizam-e-Adl Regulation had been promulgated.

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Army to pull out, if peace returns to Swat: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that the army would be pulled out, if peace restored in Swat.

Talking to media here, the prime minister said that the agitation was the right of the lawyers, how could they be stopped.

Yusuf Raza Gilani said that US drone attacks were counterproductive and not in the interest of the country, which he condemns. He said that the US would have to review its policy.

Earlier addressing a conference, the prime minister said that the load shedding crisis was the greatest challenge for the government and there was no need of getting nervous on challenges.

He said that IMF-set targets have been achieved. He further asked for restraining ourselves for the betterment of the economy. PM said that the talks with Iran were underway for 1100MW electricity.

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Swat situation affected entire country: Holbrooke

NEW DELHI: U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke Monday said the Swat situation affected the entire country.

Talking to journalists after arriving here, Holbrooke said he learned about the Nizam-e-Adl accord and Swat ceasefire when he was in the plane and therefore has very limited knowledge on the new developments. I would talk to the U.S. Ambassador on the ceasefire agreement, he added.

Richard Holbrooke said he could not go to Swat during his recent Pakistan visit and added that not only the people of Swat are facing hardship due to the bad situation there but the entire country including Karachi and Islamabad is also being affected.

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Govt claims breakthrough in Shariah regulation in Swat

PESHAWAR: Information Minister NWFP, Mian Iftikhar Hussain has said that headway has been made towards implementation of Shariah regulation in Swat valley.

He said the government is in contact with Maulana Sufi in this regard.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the NWFP Chief Minister Amir Haider Hoti has convened an important meeting for February 16 in which, he said, key decision are expected to be made.

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4 killed in Matta shelling

SWAT: Four people were killed and a minor girl injured when a shell hit a house in Matta area of Swat.

According to sources, four people were killed and a minor girl sustained injuries when a shell fell at a house in Bedra area of tehsil Matta.

Meanwhile, Swat media center announced that curfew would be relaxed from 8:00 am till 10:00 pm in Mingora whereas from 10: am till 6:30 pm at Kanju-Matta road and Mingora-Charbagh road.

Local residents started migration towards safer places after announcement of relaxation in curfew.

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