Sunday, June 07, 2009
Hundreds of villagers in northwestern Pakistan have reportedly attacked Taliban strongholds to avenge the deadly suicide bombing of a local mosque.
The villagers have occupied three settlements and are attempting to push the Taliban out of another two, reports from the Associated Press said on Sunday, quoting a local official.
Nearly 400 residents of the Upper Dir district of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) banded together on Saturday to challenge the Taliban, Atif-ur-Rehman, the official, said.
The armed group then attacked five villages in the nearby Dhok Darra area, where the Taliban is suspected of having bases, he said.
The villagers destroyed 20 houses suspected of housing Taliban fighters, he said.
At least four fighters were killed in the clash.
Pakistan's government has in the past encouraged local citizens to help drive out the Taliban.
"It is something very positive that tribesmen are standing against the militants. It will discourage the miscreants," Rehman was quoted by the Associated Press as saying....(Click for remainder.)