8 May 2009

Pakistan vows to 'eliminate' extremists

9:20 pm on 8 May 2009

Pakistan has sent fresh troops to the volatile Swat valley after ordering the army to "eliminate" extremists battling government forces for control of the key northwest district.

Authorities slapped an indefinite curfew on a swathe of land to facilitate the deployment of troops.

The move came after attack helicopters, artillery and warplanes pounded suspected Taliban hideouts in the deadliest fighting since the government reached a February peace agreement with hardliners.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for unity against extremists he said were threatening the nation's sovereignty and who had violated the deal.