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Archive for Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Army strikes deal with anti-U.S. militants

October 20, 2009

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— Pakistan’s army, in the midst of a major new offensive against Taliban militants, has struck deals to keep two powerful, anti-U.S. tribal chiefs from joining the battle against the government, officials said Monday.

The deals increase the chances of an army victory against Pakistan’s internal enemy No. 1, but indicate that the 3-day-old assault into the Taliban’s strongholds in South Waziristan may have less effect than the U.S. wants on a spreading insurgency across the border in Afghanistan.

Under the terms agreed to about three weeks ago, Taliban renegades Maulvi Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur will stay out of the current fight in parts of South Waziristan controlled by the Pakistani Taliban. They will also allow the army to move through their own lands unimpeded, giving the military additional fronts from which to attack the Taliban.

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