Pakistan Army: Troops Reach Key Taliban Strongholds
By VOA News
04 November 2009
Pakistan's army says its forces have reached key Taliban strongholds in the region of South Waziristan, as its offensive moves deeper into militant-held territory.
The military says troops captured a "major part" of Sararogha and have also entered Ladha. It says "intense fighting" is taking place in the streets of Ladha for control of the town.
A military statement says 30 militants have been killed in South Waziristan in the last day. The statement says eight troops have been wounded.
The army's casualty claims are rarely independently verified because journalists and aid workers are largely banned from the battle zone.
Meanwhile, India is denying Pakistani allegations it is assisting the Taliban and other insurgents during Pakistan's ongoing offensive in South Waziristan.
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirumpama Rao says India wants a stable and peaceful Pakistan.
Pakistani officials say their forces in South Waziristan have seized Indian-made guns, bombs and medicine.
In other news, local officials in the Bajaur tribal agency, north of Waziristan, say militants have killed two female teachers in a roadside ambush.
Taliban militants generally oppose education for girls and have carried out bombings, teacher killings and intimidation in recent years intended to keep girls out of schools.
Last month, the Taliban killed hundreds of people in Pakistan in attacks aimed at retaliating for the military's offensive in South Waziristan. The violence has led the United Nations to order some international staff to leave northwestern Pakistan.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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