The Pakistani army has said it has regained control of the main town in the Swat valley, Mingora, after a week of heavy fighting.
The town’s 300 000 people have all but disappeared, adding to the estimated two and a half million people the UN says have been displaced by the army’s campaign against the Taliban and their two-year control of a valley that was once the nation’s main tourist magnet. The army now says it controls a 70-kilometre stretch of the upper Swat from Mingora to Bahrain in the north. Fighting is now moving away from the valley floor and into the surrounding mountains. The army has said 1100 Taliban have been killed in the offensive for only 66 military casualties. It gives no figure for civilian deaths. The UN and relief agencies fear a humanitarian disaster is looming for the refugees.