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Taliban ask people to leave troubled areas

August 29, 2008

MINGORA, Aug 28: The Taliban have asked the people to leave the troubled areas of Swat and move to safe places as five more people were killed in the valley on Thursday.

Sources said that militants had erected barricades on different roads and were targeting pro-government people.

They said that local leaders and workers of political parties, particularly the Awami National Party (ANP) which is leading the coalition government in the province, were receiving threats.

The Taliban have accused them of supporting the military operation in the region.

The provincial government, meanwhile, has taken strong notice of the killing of innocent people and attacks on the property of ANP leaders and workers and asserted that the government’ writ would be established.

On Thursday, the body of Ahmed Khan, brother-in-law of Sher Shah Khan, district president of the Pakistan People’s Party (Sherpao), was found in Kozabandai of Kabal tehsil. He had been kidnapped by the militants a few days ago.

The bodies of two youths, identified as Ali Asghar and Shaukat, kidnapped about a week ago, were found in Aligrama. Their throats had been slit.

A tribesman, identified as Amanullah, was gunned down in Deolai and his body was found in Golibagh of Charbagh tehsil. Security forces, backed by artillery and helicopter gunships, pounded militants’ positions in different areas of the valley. However, no casualty was reported.

An 11-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were injured by shellings in Kozabanda and Pai Mohammad areas. They were taken to the district headquarters hospital in Saidu Sharif.

The shellings also damaged a number of houses in different areas of Matta, Charbagh and Kabal tehsils.

A curfew in place in Swat was relaxed from 7am to 8pm on Thursday, except in Kabal and Matta.