Pakistan Battles To Wrest Ground From Taliban

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Pakistan's army said Sunday it killed 60 "terrorists" as it battles to wrest control of part of the country from the Taliban. Five soldiers were killed in the last 24 hours of the assault, the military said.

But the Taliban claimed they had killed 68 Pakistani security forces in the last day. Pakistani Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq told CNN by phone that only one Taliban fighter had been killed and three injured in that time.

He said the Taliban had killed the Pakistani troops with roadside bombs and in combat.

He said the anti-government forces had "huge quantities" of weapons "which we got during the war against Russia and it is sufficient for us for many years," he said, presumably referring to the Soviet Union's 1979-1989 occupation of Afghanistan.

Pakistani troops launched the massive ground offensive backed by air power this weekend in South Waziristan, a refuge and a power base for insurgents operating in Pakistan and along the Pakistani-Afghan border.

The highly anticipated offensive comes after a wave of suicide attacks in Pakistan. It has prompted the exodus of tens of thousands of civilians, the U.N. refugee agency said. Pakistan said it was not targeting civilians.

–Journalist Nasir Dawar contributed to this report for CNN.


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