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Pakistan troops retake key town from al-Qaeda, military claims

Pakistan troops retake key town from al-Qaeda, military claims

Pakistani troops have recaptured a key town from al-Qaeda and Taliban militants after a two-month operation in which 1,500 rebels and 73 soldiers were killed, the military said yesterday.
Security forces backed by helicopter gunships drove insurgents out of Loisam, a strategic town in the Bajaur tribal region bordering Afghanistan which is at a crossroads of extremist supply routes, it said.
Islamabad has previously hailed its operation in Bajaur as proof that it is responding to U.S. and Afghan demands to take action against extremists in Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal areas.
The extremists are accused of launching attacks on U.S. and other foreign troops operating across the border in Afghanistan.
"Loisam has been captured after stiff resistance," Major General Tariq Khan, head of the paramilitary Frontier Corps force, told reporters in Khar, the regional capital.
The capture of Loisam by hundreds of militants earlier this year prompted the launch of the operation in Bajaur in August. More than 200,000 Pakistanis have been displaced by the clashes.
The army took journalists to Loisam and showed fortified trenches, a tunnel network, caves and houses allegedly used by the militants to fight pitched battles with Pakistani forces.


Updated : 2020-12-02 12:22 GMT+08:00