MINGORA, Pakistan, May 30 (UPI) -- Pakistan said Saturday it had retaken the biggest city in the Swat Valley, Mingora, from Taliban militants after a month-long offensive.
Calling it a "great accomplishment," Pakistani officials said the Taliban's stiff resistance dwindled as government troops moved into the area, CNN reported.
Despite pockets of resistance just outside the city, Pakistani Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told the U.S. broadcaster that "for all practical purposes, Mingora has been secured."
Taliban militants stepped up attacks in other parts of the country as authorities clamped down on security throughout the capital, Islamabad, Friday in the wake of a string of deadly bombings in Lahore and Peshawar.
Around 70 Afghan refugees living in shanty towns in and around Islamabad were arrested Saturday in a bid to prevent terrorists from entering the capital to carry out fresh strikes, police sources told Pakistan's English-language newspaper Dawn.
"Seventy people have been rounded up in Taxila and Islamabad as part of a search operation aimed at preventing infiltration of terrorists in the city and neighbouring Rawalpindi," an unnamed police official told Dawn.
Another official said the authenticity of the Afghan refugees' identity papers would be thoroughly checked and those with valid documents would be released.
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