Taliban to leave Pakistan's Buner District

April 24, 2009 at 7:11 AM
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PESHAWAR, Pakistan, April 24 (UPI) -- Taliban militants will vacate the Buner District of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, where they had been patrolling the streets, officials say.

Local officials say Taliban leaders agreed to the pullout Friday after more than 100 government paramilitary troops were sent to Buner to man the police stations around the district, Pakistan's English-language newspaper Dawn reported.

Two paramilitary platoons were dispatched to the rugged region, which had been invaded by Taliban militants from the neighboring Swat Valley and is only 70 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, the newspaper said.

Armed Taliban fighters had set up checkpoints and occupied mosques in Buner in recent days, declaring Islamic law. The United States responded with alarm, saying it was "extremely concerned" over the situation, which came after a controversial move by Islamabad to allow Shariah law in the Swat valley, Dawn reported.

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