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Captured Pakistani Militant Dies Of Wounds

Pakistani army soldiers stand guard in the Swat Valley
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -- A captured Pakistani Taliban commander, who was accused of killing captured members of the security forces and rivals in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley, has died in the hospital, the military said.

Security forces captured Sher Mohammad Kasab in a raid near Swat's main town, Mingora, on September 16. The militant was wounded while his three sons were killed an in exchange of fire. Officials said he died of his wounds on September 20.

"He was severely wounded. We tried to save his life, but he succumbed to his wounds early this morning," said a military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Akhtar Abbas.

Another military official in the region said the death of Kasab, who carried bounty of 10 million rupees ($120,000) on his head, would reassure residents of the former tourist valley that the Taliban was finished.

Kasab killed many civilians, policemen and troops and released video tapes of the murders.

Pakistani forces have made significant gains against the militants in their Swat offensive after Taliban advances and attacks raised fears for nuclear-armed Pakistan's future and contributed to a slide in investor confidence.

Militant attacks have tapered off in recent weeks after the death of the Pakistani Taliban chief in a missile fired by a U.S. drone aircraft on August 5.

But security officials say fighters loyal to al Qaeda and the Taliban are still a serious threat.

Underscoring the danger, a suicide car-bomber killed 33 people in an attack in the northwest on September 18.