29 Apr 2009

Pakistan retakes town of Dagar from Taliban

9:23 pm on 29 April 2009

The Pakistani army says it has retaken the northwestern town of Dagar, in the Buner valley, from the Taliban.

The army has been trying to prevent the Taliban extending its control beyond the Swat area, where the government recently struck a controversial peace deal with the militants.

Pakistan forces carried out air strikes against Taliban hideouts in Buner district, less than 100km from the capital Islamabad.

The operation was launched on Sunday in Lower Dir.

Hundreds of fighters have advanced into adjacent regions recently from the Swat Valley, an area they largely control.

Last Friday, the Taliban announced it was withdrawing from Buner.

Up to 500 fighters are believed to be in Buner, in breach of an agreement between the government and the Taliban.

Both Buner and Lower Dir are part of Malakand division, in the North West Frontier Province, bordering Afghanistan.