Pakistan claims victory over Taliban in stronghold

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 1, 2010 19:12

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani army declared victory over the Taliban in part of the tribal belt near Afghanistan on Tuesday, saying the military operation in the area is finished and civilians can return home soon.

The announcement about the Orakzai tribal region may free the army to send some troops to other districts where Islamist insurgents have bases that threaten the Pakistani state and US troops across the border.

But the victory could also be fleeting — the army has declared success in other trouble spots in the past, only to see militants regroup and resurge.

The offensive in the Orakzai region came on the heels of an operation against the Pakistani Taliban in the South Waziristan tribal area. Many militants in South Waziristan were believed to have fled to Orakzai, which lies farther north.


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