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Asia-pacific

A subdued Ramadan for one Buner village in ruins

Video by Matthieu MABIN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-08-24

This year's Ramadan will not be the easiest for residents of Sultanwaz, in Pakistan's Buner district, the scene of a brutal battle between the army and the Taliban three months ago which left the village in ruins and saw families flee.

Little remains of the village of Sultanwaz in the district of Buner, Pakistan. In May, the Pakistani army came to the village to fight Taliban insurgents, ransacking 83 houses in the process.

 

The army bombed the Taliban with planes and artillery during this so-called ‘battle of Buner’.

 

Now the Pakistani government has given the villagers arms to be able to defend themselves against possible future invasions and protect what’s left of their village.

 

With the holy month of Ramadan now underway – traditionally a time of celebration with family - it’s a lonely time for some villagers. The family of Abdul Raouf has left the village for other cities.

 

“Our families used to live here, now they’re no longer here, my children, my brothers, they’re in Islamabad, Mardane, Peshawar or Hectabade … it’s hard,” he says sadly.

 

The men go to what’s left of the local mosque for the first Ramadan prayers, ensuring that their weapons are within reach at all times.

 

Date created : 2009-08-24

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