Many Pakistan Taliban fighters are fleeing an Army offensive in South Waziristan for another tribal agency, Orakzai, where troops killed 22 militants Sunday.
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Pakistan militants are fleeing a military offensive in South Waziristan that has killed hundreds and are regrouping in another tribal agency, Orakzai. Pakistani security forces have followed, killing at least 22 Sunday in a battle in a village bordering Orakzai, which is just 10 miles south of Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province.
Pakistan's Army says that while the South Waziristan offensive has taken out the country's largest Taliban sanctuary, militants falling back into Orakzai could become the military's next focus, Bloomberg reports. (Click here for a map of Pakistan that includes Orakzai, Peshawar, and South Waziristan.)
Some escaped militants will abandon the Taliban movement and others will continue, making Orakzai the army's possible next target, [Military Spokesman Major General Athar] Abbas said. Pakistani paramilitary troops fought Taliban in Orakzai yesterday, destroying an FM radio station used by the guerrillas, Akhlaq Khan, a spokesman for Orakzai's political agent, said by telephone.
Yesterday's clash continued an escalation of violence in Orakzai, where air force jets have bombed suspected Taliban strongholds this month, killing scores of people, Pakistani news media have reported.
In the village Shahukhel, troops in Sunday's offensive also took out a communications tower and a training camp, according to the Pakistani daily Dawn.
Troops, the sources said, were now targeting militants' hideouts in other part of [Shahukhel] situated in Upper Orakzai from the [Shahukhel] area in Hangu.