Taliban pledges cease-fire in 2nd Pakistani region

A Taliban commander announced a unilateral cease-fire Monday in a northwestern Pakistan region where the military said that it had killed around 1,500 militants in an ongoing offensive. The military was not available for comment on the Taliban's move in Bajur region, which lies next to Afghanistan. The announcement follows the introduction of an already week-old cease-fire between the government and militants in the Swat Valley, another northwestern region, in support of a peace process there. The United States and other Western governments have criticized the Swat truce and negotiations, saying they could create a safe haven for al-Qaida and Taliban in the region.