World Bulletin/News Desk
Backed by gunships, Pakistani army on Sunday captured some key mountaineer positions in troubled South Waziristan amid fierce clashes with militants loyal to Pakistani Taliban, officials said.
A senior military official told Anadolu Agency on the condition of anonymity that key Taliban positions had been captured in Bobar area located some 40 kilometers north of Wana, the capital of South Waziristan, the birthplace of the Pakistani Taliban, after fierce clashes.
The army had captured the Bobar area, a Taliban stronghold, in 2009 soon after a military onslaught on the lawless region, however it was vacated after a few weeks due to the area’s roughness.
The fresh spate of clashes killing 16 militants and 5 army troops began last week following a remote control blast that killed five soldiers deployed to Bobar.
The army official claimed that the deceased included commander Irfan Mehsud, a son of prominent Taliban authority Azam Tariq Mehsud.
The militant group, however, contested the army claims.
Talking to local media, Azam Tariq Mehsud confirmed the fall of some key Taliban positions to the army, but he denied the killing of his son. "He is alive by the grace of Allah," he said.
He said 35 Pakistani soldiers had been killed in the last two daya in clashes in different parts of South Waziristan
Azam’s claim could not be verified by military or independent sources.
Clashes between security forces and Taliban began after the latter ended its 40-day-long ceasefire with the government in April.
The government and the Taliban negotiating teams are desperately trying to broker another ceasefire and resume the suspended peace talks; however, analysts believe the large scale clashes in South Wazriristan have made the task difficult for them.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Mayıs 2014, 16:50