Taliban abducts 30 Pakistani policemen
Taliban militants kidnapped 30 Pakistani policemen after a punishing day-long siege, in an embarrassing blow yesterday for the army battling to win back control of the Swat valley.
The abduction, carried out at night when police and army reinforcements had suspended efforts to break the siege, underscores the huge challenges facing the security services.
Despite a wave of government offensives, the military has failed to impose its authority on the valley, a scenic former holiday region near the border with Afghanistan.
Thousands of Taliban besieged a police station in the area of Shamozai on Tuesday. The army was mobilised to rescue the police and break the circle of rebels, security officials said.
Clashes continued throughout the day but as dusk fell, the operation was suspended. Then, overnight, the Taliban broke into the office, kidnapped the officers and blew up the building, said Swat police chief Dilawar Khan.
Khan confirmed that the rebels kidnapped 30 policemen.