Pakistan arrests 5 Taliban leaders

2009-09-12 09:26 BJT

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Pakistani soldiers have arrested five major Taliban figures, including the Taliban spokesman, during an operation in the Swat Valley. The army says it considers the arrests a major breakthrough in the war against terror.

The Pakistani army says the five Taliban leaders were arrested after a successful operation in the suburbs of Mingora, the main city in the Swat Valley.

Among them, the Taliban spokesman in Swat, Muslim Khan, was one of the most wanted. In earlier phone calls placed to journalists, he admitted responsibility for over 100 terrorist attacks.

The Pakistani Interior Minister denies media reports that the arrests were made during secret negotiations between the Taliban and the military.

Rehman Malik, Pakistani Interior Minister, said, "I repeat, no negotiation with the terrorists. This has been our policy from day one when we started the operation. They have no other option. Either they get killed, or get arrested."

The army says the arrested Taliban leaders are being interrogated by law enforcement agencies, and security forces are conducting operations based on information they have divulged.

Pakistani security forces launched an offensive against Taliban militants in the Swat Valley in late April. To date, they have killed about 1,700 militants.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: