06/25/2008, 00.00
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Fighting erupts on border, Taliban kill 22 tribal leaders

Kidnapped at the beginning of the week, the victims were killed in what seems to have been a mass execution. The media are asking the government for a strong response against this action on the part of the Islamic guerrillas.

Jandola (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The authorities of the North-West Frontier Province have confirmed the discovery of 22 tribal leaders killed by the Taliban.  They were kidnapped last June 23 in Jandola, a province in southern Waziristan, by guerrillas loyal to Baitullah Mehsud.  According to the Pakistani newspapers, "war has begun".

All of the victims were part of a tribe that is very influential in the northern part of the country, considered an ally of the government in the war against extremism.  Their killing, conducted in the manner of an execution, seems to be a signal to international and government military forces that are seeking to limit the activities of the Taliban in the area.

Southern Waziristan, one of the most impenetrable regions of the country, has become in recent months a refuge and training ground for the Taliban.  It is here that extremist cells driven out of Afghanistan by the international contingent have found refuge and have resumed training for jihad.

With this mass execution, the newspaper Dawn writes, "the Taliban want to make it clear to the government that they will not permit interference in their operations.  Now Islamabad must respond, and we hope that it will do so with the necessary force".

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