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Tide has 'decisively turned' in Swat: Pak army

June 04, 2009 20:30 IST

As Pakistani troops killed 10 more terrorists in the offensive against Taliban in the northwest, the army chief on Thursday said the tide had 'decisively turned' in Swat and sought a 'civilian administrative surge' to enable millions of displaced to return to the region, which has been largely cleared of militants.

Though the army has claimed it has secured several former militant strongholds in the restive Malakand division, including Mingora, Charbagh and Pir Baba, the Taliban continued to mount raids and attacks on positions held by security forces.

Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who chaired a meeting of the army's Corps Commanders at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to review the operations against the Taliban, said the 'tide in Swat has decisively 'turned' as major population centres and roads leading to the valley had been 'largely cleared of organised resistance by the terrorists.'

"High value targets are being aggressively hunted. To clear remaining hideouts and sanctuaries, the army will continue to carry out operations at a limited scale," he said.

He said 'isolated incidents of violence will continue and will have to be managed'.

The army chief made it clear that his force 'will stay in Swat to provide security to the people.'

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