ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Pakistani forces say they killed 30 militants in their latest offensive to regain control of the violence-racked Swat valley, Dawn reported Monday.
The military said the forces in their Sunday campaign also captured two strategic mountain positions previously held by the militants, as well as key routes to the valley's Imam Dehri region. The security forces lost one soldier, while another was injured, the report said.
Swat valley in the northwest region, which is close to the border with Afghanistan, has been overrun by pro-Taliban militants, led by a cleric who uses radio broadcasts to inspire his followers.
The Dawn report, quoting informed sources, said the security forces, backed by artillery and helicopter gun ships, captured Najia Top and Usmani Sar after shelling Imam Dehri and nearby areas. The report said the claims could not be verified from independent sources.
Dawn said reports from the area indicated the militants had vacated the Imam Dehri Centre, where the cleric, Maulana Fazlullah, is building a seminary.
Last week, the military said its forces killed 40 militants. Pakistan sent about 2,500 paramilitary troops in October to re-establish its authority in the region.