Pakistan Foreign Minister: Offensive 'Very Successful'
By SOF Editor on Mon, 11/02/2009 - 12:32pm
Pakistan's foreign minister says his country's military is likely to uproot Taliban militants hiding in the mountains along the Afghan border by late December. Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Sunday in Malaysia that Pakistan's offensive in South Waziristan has been "very successful" and has the Taliban fighters "on the run." He spoke on the sidelines of a conference for developing Islamic countries. Pakistan's army says its forces killed nine terrorists and apprehended two others in the last 24 hours of the offensive. It says two soldiers died in the fighting. The military also says it has cleared about half of Kanigurram, a Taliban operational center and a base for Uzbek fighters. The military's claims can not be independently verified because journalists are not admitted to the battle zone. Elsewhere in the northwest, Pakistani officials say militants blew up a girls' school in the Khyber tribal region Sunday, wounding several people. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Saturday the country's political and military leadership are united in the fight against terrorists. He said defeat is not an option. The Pakistani government began its offensive in South Waziristan in mid-October. Military forces put the militant death toll at more than 306, while reporting at least 36 of its own soldiers have been killed. The numbers have not been independently confirmed.