"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

5 top militants among 1,000 killed in Pakistan

From The Daily Star.

Pakistan said yesterday that troops have killed 1,000 Islamist militants in a huge offensive, a day after President Asif Ali Zardari lashed out at the US over a clash on the Afghan border.

Five top al-Qaeda and Taliban commanders were among the dead in a month-long operation in Bajaur district, currently the most troubled of Pakistan's unstable tribal areas close to the porous frontier, a top official said.

In a further sign of the instability gripping Pakistan since the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad at the weekend, three suicide bombers blew themselves up in a shootout with police in Karachi.

Reporters were flown by helicopter to Khar, the main town in restive Bajaur, for a briefing on the military operation launched in August against Islamist militants who had taken control of most of the region."

The overall toll is over 1,000 militants," said Tariq Khan, inspector general of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, adding that 27 soldiers had also been killed in the fighting."This is a centre of gravity for the militants," Khan told journalists. "If they lose here they lose everything."

Pakistan is now beginning to battle insurgents in earnest within its own territory. While their numbers on enemy loses are often inflated and friendly loses often deflated, this article shows that Pakistan is now engaging the insurgents.

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