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Curfew in Pakistan's tribal town lifted after 10 days
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17:11, October 16, 2007

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The authorities in Pakistan's tribal region Tuesday lifted curfew in a major town after ten-day clashes with militants, the army spokesman said.

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

There were round 50 soldiers and many civilians among more than 200 killed in the fighting, the heaviest in the tribal region in years.

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

Local correspondents said around 50,000 people had fled Mir Aliand adjoining areas due to clashes.

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

Orakzai told reporters that the government had assured for removal of four roadside security checkposts. The militants have been demanding removal of army checkposts, established in July this year.

Locals say that the army has set up around 50 checkposts 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 signed in September last year.

The authorities also opened major roads in North Waziristan Tuesday to facilitate the people.

Local correspondents said 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The army has also been withdrawn from the Mir Ali bazaar. They said people who had fled to safe places have started returning homes. The government and local Taliban had announced cease-fire on the occasion of traditional Eid-ul-Fitr holidays as a goodwill gesture and Taliban had also released six kidnapped paramilitary soldiers.

Source: Xinhua



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