Pakistan Troops Battle Militants in South Waziristan
By VOA News
18 October 2009
Pakistani forces exchanged heavy fire on Sunday with militants defending their heartland in the mountains of the South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
Pakistani troops, backed by fighter jets, continue to advance into the main sanctuary of militants, on the second day of a full-scale ground offensive against Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents.
Officials say 60 militants and five Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the first 24 hours of the operation.
A Pakistani army spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, said some 30,000 soldiers moved into the insurgent stronghold from three directions Saturday to take on some 10,000 militants and foreign fighters.
The military says soldiers captured a Taliban mountain base Saturday around Spinkai Raghzai.
The long-awaited operation follows a string of brazen attacks that has killed more than 175 people in the last two weeks. The government has blamed the Pakistani Taliban based in South Waziristan for the violence.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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