Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Army sends helicopters to back villagers' revolt against Taliban

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-09

Pakistan has sent army helicopters to support villagers fighting the Taliban in Upper Dir district, which borders the Swat valley. Hundreds took up arms against the Taliban on Saturday, a day after a suicide bomber killed 38 people at a mosque.

AFP - Pakistan's military sent helicopter gunships to a northwest region Tuesday to support armed villagers who have risen up against Taliban to avenge a deadly mosque blast, an official said.
   
Hundreds of tribesmen in Upper Dir district took up arms Saturday, a day after 38 people were killed in a mosque suicide bombing there, and have stormed villages where extremists are holed up killing 14 fighters, the army has said.
   
The militia -- known locally as a lashkar -- were on Tuesday surrounding Shatkas and Ghazigai villages, where militants are believed to be hiding.
   
Upper Dir borders Swat valley, the centre of a fierce six-week military offensive aimed at crushing a Taliban insurgency.
   
"Lashkar men are positioned on surrounding mountains and keeping a vigil on the movement of Taliban militants," said a military official who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
   
He said army helicopter gunships and artillery pounded suspected militant hideouts in Upper Dir, adding: "The shelling was in support of the lashkar."
   
Pakistan's government has in the past encouraged the formation of lashkar militias to help the official armed forces in their fight against militants, and say they want to build up and arm such community forces in the northwest.
   
Up to 1,200 villagers carrying firearms are reported to have taken on about 200 Taliban in a handful of remote Upper Dir hamlets.
   
Friday's mosque bombing was the latest in a series of attacks on civilian and security targets -- attacks widely seen as retribution by Islamist extremists for a blistering offensive by the Pakistan army.
   
 Pakistan launched its northwest push after the Taliban advanced to within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of Islamabad in early April, violating a deal to put three million people under sharia law in exchange for peace.
   
The offensive has the backing of the United States and enjoys broad popular support among Pakistanis exasperated by worsening Taliban-linked attacks, which have killed more than 1,960 people since July 2007.
 

Date created : 2009-06-09

COMMENT(S)