Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Pakistani army storms Khyber region to chase out Taliban

Latest update : 2008-06-28

The Pakistani army launched an offensive against the Taliban in the Khyber Pass region bordering Afghanistan. Baitullah Mehsud, a Pakistani Taliban chief, said he was withdrawing from negotiations with the government to protest its use of force.

PESHAWAR - Pakistani security forces on Saturday launched an offensive against Taliban militants who were threatening the main northwestern city of Peshawar.

The crackdown in Khyber tribal region followed increased sightings of Taliban fighters in Peshawar, a city of three million people just a two hours drive west from the capital Islamabad.

"There has been no resistance, so far. No casualties, so far," Malik Naveed Khan, the police chief of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) told Reuters.

Another senior security official said the offensive was focused on nearby Bara town, close to the Afghan border. A curfew had been ordered and roads to the town closed, he said.

Fawad Khan, a resident, told Reuters by telephone that the paramilitary troops fired three mortar shells at the hills overlooking Bara.

"People are very scared," Khan said.

"They haven't yet imposed a strict curfew but police are urging the people to stay inside their homes"

In Peshawar, paramilitary soldiers set up bunkers in Hayatabad, a neighbourhood close to Khyber, and patrolled the streets in vehicles mounted with machine guns.

The historic Khyber Pass provides the main road link to Afghanistan, and the region has long been known as a den for smugglers and criminals.

Islamist militants have become active in Khyber over the past year, and in recent weeks they began roaming into some neighbourhoods of Peshawar.

Riding in on the back of pick-up trucks, fighters armed with Kalashnikovs have threatened owners of music and video shops to close down, and ordered barbers to stop shaving men's beards.

Last Saturday, they also kidnapped 25 Christians, though they released them 12 hours later.

The brazen presence of the Taliban in Peshawar stoked fears among the residents that the militants would eventually take over the city, although it is home to the main army garrison in the northwest.

Security experts said the appearance of the Taliban in Peshawar reflected the military and political failure to stop the Islamist tide rolling in from the semi-autonomous tribal areas that have become strongholds for the Taliban and al Qaeda.


Date created : 2008-06-28

COMMENT(S)