Archaeological evidence indicates that Swat's history dates back to at least the 3d cent. BC Long a stronghold of Buddhism, it has several Buddhist stupas. In 2007–8 there was fighting in Swat between Pakistani troops and Islamic militants. A peace agreement was signed with the militants in May, 2008, but fighting resumed two months later. In Feb., 2009, the government, which had failed to rout the militants, agreed to a cease-fire and the establishment of Islamic rule in the district. The situation deteriorated, however, following government operations in April against militants in nearby areas, and in May–July the government mounted a major offensive in Swat that largely reestablished government control. Swat was among those areas most severely devastated by the monsoon floods of 2010.
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