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24 June 2017 15:47 (South Africa)

Pakistan army claims more advances in offensive

The army in Pakistan claims it is advancing on a key Pakistani Taliban stronghold near the Afghan border, after capturing Kotkai, the hometown of the militant group's chief, Hakimullah Mehsud and a top deputy sending insurgents dispersing into the nearby mountains. The town is en route to the militant base of Sararogha, and the army said troops had captured two key points between Kotkai and the base. However, militants in the South Waziristan tribal region continued to attack troops with rockets while a suicide bomber killed a police officer south of the capital. An army spokesman said homes in Kotkai had been turned into “strong bunkers”, the town had a training camp for suicide bombers and communications intercepts showed differences were breaking out within Taliban ranks. The spokesman said some fleeing Taliban had shaved their beards and cut their hair to blend in with the civilian population. Read more: AP

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