Pakistani soldiers arrested the spokesman for the Taliban in the Swat Valley and four other commanders, striking the first direct blow against the leadership of the insurgency in the one-time tourist resort. The capture of spokesman Muslim Khan and the others could be a big blow to the Taliban's hopes of staging a comeback in the region, which borders Afghanistan.
Khan, who spent several years in the United States, frequently called media outlets to claim responsibility for attacks. The detainees are being interrogated, and security forces are already "conducting operations" based on the information, said the army, without giving details. The Pakistani military launched an offensive in the valley in May after the Taliban seized control of the region following a two-year reign of terror.