Pakistan, Taliban both claim success in fighting

About 60 militants have been killed in the first 24 hours of a major offensive against the Taliban in northwest Pakistan, the country's military said Sunday.
About 60 militants have been killed in the first 24 hours of a major offensive against the Taliban in northwest Pakistan, the country's military said Sunday.

The offensive follows a string of brazen militant attacks on different sites across Pakistan, including the army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the police training school in Lahore. The assaults killed 175 people.

The military operation was launched Saturday when 30,000 troops pushed through South Waziristan, a remote, mountainous region near the Afghan border believed to be home to the militants.

The Taliban said its fighters inflicted "heavy casualties" on the army, while the Pakistani military said six soldiers have died.

The army has said it believes it's facing as many as 10,000 Taliban militants in South Waziristan, as well as 1,000 foreign fighters, most of those from Central Asia.

It has not been possible to independently verify the conflicting claims of casualties because the army is blocking access to the battlefield and surrounding towns.

In recent weeks, the army has been cutting off possible escape routes for militants and softening targets with a series of air strikes.

The military operation has prompted more than 100,000 people to flee their homes.

With files from The Associated Press