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Pakistani troops capture 52 militants

Pakistani troops captured 52 suspected Islamist militants Thursday in the restive northwestern valley of Swat, the military said.

The arrests were made days after a remote-controlled bomb killed eight people including a politician from the main party backing President Pervez Musharraf in Swat.

“These militants were apprehended in Shakardara area Thursday morning during a search operation,” the statement said. According to government reports, more than 300 Taliban-style militants have been killed in the area since Musharraf deployed the army against them on November 24.

The rebels had seized control of the region and called for the enforcement of Islamic Sharia law. Pakistan’s army claimed on December 8 it had cleared almost all the militants from the mountainous region.

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