Pakistan Arrests Taliban Spokesman in Swat

Pakistan’s military says it has arrested five top Taliban leaders, including its chief spokesman in the Swat Valley.

Military spokesman Athar Abbas said Friday two of the detained militants, spokesman Muslim Khan and Taliban commander Mahmood Khan, each had bounties of about $120,000 on their heads.

Abbas called the arrests “a successful operation.”

He did not give any details, but a leading English newspaper in Pakistan (The News) says the men had been involved in peace negotiations with the government. 

Pakistan’s Interior Minister denied that, saying the only options for Taliban were to be “killed or arrested.”

Pakistan’s government launched an offensive in late April aimed at clearing militants from the greater Swat valley region. 

The military says it has driven most of the Taliban from the valley, but sporadic fighting persists. 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters