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Civilians being harassed by militants: ISPR

May 10, 2009

ISLAMABAD, May 9 The army claimed that 55 militants had been killed in Swat on Saturday, taking the death toll to 199 in two days of military operation in the valley and its vicinity.

According to an update issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), 55 militants were killed in different areas of Swat. However, it added, militants were harassing non-combatants and carrying out looting and arson activities in Mingora. They damaged and looted the main branch of MCB Bank in Mingora Bazaar.

The ISPR said that 15 militants had been killed when helicopter gunships attacked militants' hideouts in Mingora. Suspected locations of militants in Rama Kandhao ridge were also targeted and militants' Loenamal headquarters in Matta was destroyed.About 30 to 40 militants were killed in Peochar, Qambar, Banababa, Ziarat, Mushkomai and Chamtalai areas of Khawzakhela.

The ISPR said that indiscriminate mortar firing by militants in populated areas of Mingora had also resulted in civilian casualties. Two soldiers were injured when militants attacked the Circuit House. Militants also destroyed a girls' primary school in Kanju.

Troops recaptured the Chakdara area and ridges on the outskirts of Gulabad.

In Shangla, security forces attacked militant hideouts in Loe Sar and secured two mountain heights known as Point 2245 and Point 2266. A number of militants were killed and two soldiers injured in the operation.

The operation in Sultanwas area of Buner was in full swing, the ISPR added.