Pakistani warplanes pound North Waziristan

Pakistani jet-fighters continued to run bombing raids over North Waziristan tribal region, killing seven people on June 30, residents said. Warplanes bombed the Wacha Bibi area, west of Miramshah. A military convoy was ambushed in the locality on Sunday in which 27 soldiers were killed. The army claimed that 10 militants were killed in a counter attack.

In a related development, the militants who pulled out from a peace deal with the government on June 29 instated a ban on the assembly of five or more persons, or formation of peace councils, and have told tribesmen to refrain from going to the political administration offices or seeking employment in government departments or the Khasadar paramilitary force.

A shura, or council, decided to call off the peace deal—brokered with Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur in February 2008—because the government has failed to meet the Taliban’s demands that the Pakistani army withdraw from the region and the government put an end to US-sanctioned drone attacks. A Taliban spokesman said that militants would now “carry out attacks on military targets in the region until the army left and US drones strikes were halted.” (Dawn, CSM, June 30)

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