07/16/2007, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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For the Taliban the Waziristan ceasefire is over: at least 47 dead in two suicide attacks

by Qaiser Felix
A weekend of blood in three attacks against the military and the police in the North. The Taliban, in a leaflet declare a reprisal in hostilities. The army reinforces the area in fear of a “holy war”. A priest on the ground shares his thoughts

Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In a statement issued in Miranshah, the main town of northern Waziristan, la Shura (Council) of the Taliban declare “an end to the ceasefire” signed with the Pakistan government in September 2006.  The peace accord had put an end to two years of clashes which had hindered attacks in neighbouring “Afghanistan.

Two suicide attacks in Swat and Dera Ismail Khan, on the border of the north western Province, accompanied the statement, killing 47 people, 13 police and 12 security guards, wounding 100 others.

“We had struck the truce with the government – the pamphlets read - to save people’s lives and property, but today we announce the truce’s termination again for the sake of the people”. The government has sent thousands of new troops to the north-west fearing there could be a new "holy war" in revenge for the 102 dead in the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) siege. Many of the militants who died in the Mosque are believed to have come from the North West of the country.  Yesterday at least 26 people died and 50 were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a police recruitment centre. Suicide bombers in two explosives-packed cars hit a Pakistan army convoy, killing at least 21 people, including 12 security forces and civilians while 47 others were injured. On July 14 another suicide attack on a military convoy in Daznary killed 24 people and wounded 30.

President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz urged the nation to work together to fight “with the law enforcement agencies to combat the “scourge of extremism and militancy”.

Father Bonnie Mendes, a Catholic priest from Faisalabad, said “We condemn all killings; we promote a culture of life not death and any kind of killing by any body is bad. These suicide attacks are very sad and we hope as a church, the people of all faiths will stand up against such evils. I don’t connect these attacks directly to the recent armed operation against Red Mosque because tension and trouble was already in some parts of the country”, he added, “and we can not blame only one group because different people have different agendas like promoting extremism is one of them”.

 

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