47 militants killed in Pakistan crackdown

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military said on Saturday that 47 militants were killed over the last 24 hours of its air and ground offensive against the Taliban in three northwestern districts.

It is impossible to confirm such death tolls independently, which would add up to more than 980 dead militants and there has been no official word on civilian casualties since the military launched its offensive last month.

Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told a news conference that “47 terrorists have been killed in the last 24 hours”.

Medical officials, journalists and aid workers have been unable to confirm death tolls issued by the military. People among the hundreds of thousands who have fled the violence have spoken of seeing civilian dead and wounded.

Abbas showed journalists video footage that he said showed militant hideouts and ammunition dumps destroyed by security forces during raids in Swat.

He said forces were getting closer to Mingora, the main town in the district of Swat, to check on militants trying to flee the area.