Militants occupy more installations

Published November 9, 2007

SWAT, Nov 8: Armed militants captured more government installations in Swat on Thursday and announced a punishment of 15 lashes for anyone not offering prayers in Matta tehsil.

Sources said the militants took over a police post on the Shangla hills, some 35km north of Mingora.

In Charbagh, Maulana Fazlullah’s supporters took over the Pakistan-Austria Training Institute for Hotel Management. The centre was established with the financial assistance of Austria in 2003 at a cost Rs150 million. It is the only training facility in the country for hotel management and tourism in the private sector.

In Khwazakhel area, militants set on fire the police station.

A tense calm prevailed with military helicopters hovering over the area. Security forces were consolidating their positions in and around Mingora amid reports that an operation was likely.

A handout issued in Peshawar said the overall situation in Swat was under control and no untoward incident had been reported over ‘the past 48 hours’. Paramilitary forces were on high alert and educational institutions remained open.

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