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Men with links to Taliban arrested

  • Story Highlights
  • Authorities arrested Amir Izat Khan and Maulana Muhammad Alam, officials say
  • They are senior members of an organization run by Sufi Muhammad
  • Sufi Muhammed represents Swat Valley Taliban in recent failed peace efforts
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Several key figures connected to the Taliban in Pakistan's Swat Valley have been arrested, Pakistani authorities said.

The arrests come as Pakistan's military has surged into the Swat Valley, in the country's north, in an offensive against the Taliban.

Authorities arrested Amir Izat Khan and Maulana Muhammad Alam, both senior members of an organization run by Sufi Muhammad, local information ministry officials said Thursday.

Sufi Muhammed represented the Swat Valley Taliban in the recent failed peace efforts between the Pakistani Taliban and the local government. Sufi Muhammed is also the father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah, leader of the Pakistan Taliban in the Swat Valley.

Also on Thursday, militants and local law enforcement fought a fierce battle in the North West Frontier Province. Militants attacked a police convoy with a roadside bomb, starting an eight-hour gunbattle, according to Waqif Khan, Mardan District police chief.

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Five policemen were killed and 22 injured in the battle. Five militants were killed.

An estimated 2 million Pakistanis have been displaced by fighting as the military has battled the Taliban for control of the Swat Valley during the past month, according to the United Nations. Video Watch Taliban's effect on Peshawar »

CNN's Thomas Evans contributed to this report.

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