Entering the combat zone, soldiers are on high alert watching for attacks. We've arrived in the town of Loesam which is in ruins and now lies under military control. Civilians fled long ago, hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Most of the rubble here has been caused by airstrikes, but the military must occupy the area it says, or the militants will return. For the army, this is a crucial victory because Loesam lies between Pakistan and Afghanistan and its geography allows militants to launch attacks into both countries and is ideal for guerilla warfare, says this colonel. The army now controls the main road here, and it took six weeks to secure that area. The Taliban were deeply dug in connected by underground tunnels. Forty men can fight underground in this bunker at one time. This is not a popular war in Pakistan and the government has been criticized for killing fellow Muslims, but that hasn't stopped the intensity of the campaign.
The story you just read is freely available and accessible to everyone because readers like you support The World financially.
Thank you all for helping us reach our goal of 1,000 donors. We couldn’t have done it without your support. Your donation directly supported the critical reporting you rely on, the consistent reporting you believe in, and the deep reporting you want to ensure survives.