PESHAWAR (Reuters/AFP) Taliban militants vowed to fight a tough, protracted guerrilla war against the army on Tuesday. The army went on the offensive in South Waziristan on October 17, aiming to root out Taliban militants behind a wave of violence in urban areas. The militants have responded with intensified attacks in towns and cities since the offensive was launched, killing several hundred people. Soldiers have been advancing into the militant heartland from three directions, capturing a string of important bases and entering the Taliban headquarters in the town of Makeen, the army said. But Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq played down the militants losses. They are capturing roads while our people are still operating in the forests and mountains, Tariq told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location. We have started guerrilla war against the Pakistani army. Weve carried out several actions against the army and inflicted heavy losses on them, he said. According to army figures, 495 militants have been killed since the offensive began while 48 soldiers have died. Asked earlier about urban attacks, most of which have been carried out by suicide bombers, Tariq said: Whoever harms our movement will be given a lesson. Tariq vowed a long, tough fight. They thought they would capture Waziristan easily but the fight in Waziristan will be tougher than in Kashmir, he said. We will prove that we can fight for years. The government cannot take Waziristan in three months, even in six months. It will take years and years to take control of Waziristan, Tariq said. Tehreek-e-Taliban claimed responsibility for a spike in recent attacks that pushed the military to launch the three-pronged ground and air offensive. Since then, attacks and bombings have killed around 200 people. The attacks in cities are a part of our permanent strategy. These attacks will continue and we will attack everyone who wants to harm us, said Tariq.