Taliban militants have recaptured the strategic town of Kotkai after launching a counter-attack against Pakistani forces.
The birthplace of Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was taken by the Pakistan army on Monday. Aircraft are said by intelligence officials to have been bombing Taliban positions in and around the town in a renewed effort to dislodge the fighters. Some 28,000 soldiers are battling an estimated 10,000 hardcore Taliban, including about 1,000 Uzbeks and al-Qaeda members. More than 100,000 civilians fled South Waziristan in anticipation of the offensive. Displaced people have been protesting near Kot Azam against what they say is the Pakistani government’s inability to look after the refugees.