Key Swat Taliban commander ’killed in Pakistan’
Mohammad Alam Binouri, who had a 10-million-rupee (117,000-dollar) reward on his head, was killed in the gun battle in Madyan town in the mountainous northwestern region late Sunday, local police officer Islam Jan said.
Army and paramilitary soldiers acting on a tip-off surrounded a house in the town, but Binouri and another militant were killed in an exchange of fire, a military official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP.
"The bodies of the insurgents were placed in the main bazaar of Madyan, where the residents identified the pair," said the police officer, Jan. He said Binouri was a close aide of fugitive Swat Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah.
Binouri was killed along with fellow-commander Shankoo Mullah, while three other wounded militants were captured alive, the military official said.
The bodies were taken to Swat’s main town Mingora, where the wounded insurgents are being interrogated.
The picturesque Swat valley slipped out of government control after the radical cleric Fazlullah led an uprising in July 2007, beheading opponents, burning schools and fighting to enforce a harsh brand of Islamic law.
Pakistan launched a blistering air and ground offensive in the valley after militants marched out of Swat and advanced to within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of the capital Islamabad in April 2009.
The army says the area is now safe and most of the two million people who fled their homes have returned, but sporadic outbreaks of violence continue, while some fear the Swat Taliban are regrouping elsewhere in the northwest.
Fazlullah, who has a 50-million-rupee bounty on his head, remains at large.
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