Taliban cornered in NW Pakistan by angry locals

By
June 9, 2009 08:32

A group of Taliban fighters under siege by hundreds of angry tribesmen tried to sneak to another village in northwest Pakistan, only to find themselves cornered there too, an official said Tuesday. A citizens' militia that sprang up over the weekend to avenge a deadly suicide bombing at a mosque in Upper Dir district appeared unwilling to stop pursuing the Islamist fighters, underscoring the rising anti-Taliban sentiment in Pakistan. The growing pressure on militants who have held sway in parts of Pakistan's northwest comes as the army bears down on their one-time stronghold in the Swat Valley region. Talk has also turned to the possibility of another operation against al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in the nearby tribal belt along the country's border with Afghanistan, something U.S. officials privately say they would like to see. Some 1,500 tribesmen laid siege to several villages known as Taliban strongholds in Upper Dir over the weekend, eventually cornering militants in Shatkas and Ghazi Gay villages. By Tuesday, some of the Taliban tried to get away to Malik Bai village, which the tribesmen also encircled, police official Fazal Rabi said.


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