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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan lifts curfew in tribal town

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 16,IRNA -- Authorities in Pakistan's tribal region on Tuesday lifted curfew from a major town after 10-day of clashes with militants, which has killed more than 200 people, the army spokesman said.

Around 50 soldiers and many civilians are among those killed in the fighting, the heaviest in the tribal region in years.

The clashes first started when militants attacked an army convoy in North Waziristan agency.

Local correspondents say that around 50,000 people had fled Mir Ali, a major town and adjoining areas, due to clashes.

Army spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said that lifting of the curfew will only facilitate the public but movement of militants would be monitored.

A tribal jirga or council of elders secured a temporary ceasefire between the two sides and now they are trying for a permanent ceasefire, a member of the Jirga Haji Faizullah Orakzai said.

Orakzai told reporters that the Government had promised to remove four roadside security check posts.

The militants had been demanding removal of army check posts, established in July this year.

Locals say that the army has set up around 50 check posts in North Waziristan to check the movement of pro-Taliban militants.

Local Taliban scrapped a peace deal with the government in July, accusing the army of violating the agreement both sides had signed in September last year.

The authorities also opened major roads in North Waziristan on Tuesday to facilitate traffic of people.

Local correspondents say that announcements were made through loudspeakers to go to markets to buy essential items as the markets are opened.

The army has also been withdrawn from Mir Ali bazaar.

They said people who had fled to safe places have started returning homes.

The government and local Taliban had announced ceasefire on occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr as a goodwill gesture and Taliban had also released six kidnapped paramilitary soldiers.

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