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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Pakistan Taliban Expanding Beyond Swat Valley

By VOA News
22 April 2009

Pakistani officials say Taliban militants have increased their presence in a district next to their Swat Valley stronghold, in what may be a bid to expand their territory.

Wednesday officials said the militants have set up checkpoints and are patrolling in Buner district in the North West Frontier Province. The district is within 160 kilometers of the capital, Islamabad.

Taliban militants crossed into Buner earlier this month from Malakand district. Fighting broke out, and several people were killed, after local security forces asked the militants to leave.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has signed an agreement to allow the establishment of Islamic law (Sharia) in Malakand, in a peace deal with Islamist militants.

Western nations, including the United States, have expressed alarm about the agreement, saying it yields too much to extremists.

U.S. rights group Human Rights Watch says the Pakistani government is now complicit in the Taliban's "horrific abuses."

The group says the Taliban has imposed its authority in Swat through executions, public whippings, the burning of girl's schools and forbidding men to shave their beards.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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