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Pakistani PM Announces Permanent Army Base In Swat

More than 20,000 troops have remained in and around Swat, as militant attacks continue.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says a permanent military base for Pakistan's army is to be set up in the Swat Valley, a troubled area in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Swat district is where a Taliban militant shot schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai in the head in October 2012 for promoting girls' education.

Taliban fighters led by cleric Maulana Fazlullah -- now the leader of the Pakistani Taliban -- took control of the district in 2007, waging a brutal campaign of beheadings and violence there.

By July 2009, Pakistan's army declared it had regained control of the region.

But more than 20,000 troops have remained in and around Swat, and militant attacks continue.

Sharif said on January 15 the new military base will be "a brigade-level cantonment" for Swat and the adjacent Malakand areas.

With reporting by AFP and "Dawn"