Pak security forces kill 64 militants in Bner, Swat districts

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Peshawar (NWFP), May 6 (ANI): Pakistan security forces killed sixty-four militants on Wednesday in northwest Buner and Swat districts.

The army said 37 militants were killed in two clashes in the Swat Valley and 27 militants were killed in Buner district. The Frontier Corps said two security personnel were also killed today.

Clashes erupted between security forces and militants on Wednesday near an emerald mine in Mingora held by the Taliban, leaving 45 militants and 35 civilians dead, official sources told Dawn.

Militants also set two private banks on fire after looting them, the sources said.

'There were 35 militants killed in the area near the emerald mines,' Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Athar Abbas said.

A major military offensive is likely to begin in Swat shortly with the army ready to push back militants. Gunship helicopters were already pounding militant hideouts in the district's Mingora city.

Reinforcements have already been deployed in the valley, according to local citizens, prompting speculation that action is imminent.

On Tuesday, thousands of residents fled Swat following a government request to evacuate the area in preparation for a fresh offensive against Taliban militants.

'More than 40,000 have migrated from Mingora since Tuesday afternoon,' said Khushhal Khan, the chief administration officer in Swat, was quoted by the paper, as saying. (ANI)

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