Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pakistan Police Arrest Dozens Of Taliban

Pakistani police arrested more than two dozen Taliban fighters in a raid on an Islamic school in the southwestern city of Quetta, police said. The Taliban have this year unleashed the worst violence in years against the Afghan government and foreign troops supporting it across the Afghan south and east. Afghanistan, the United States and other NATO countries with troops in Afghanistan have urged Pakistan to crack down on the insurgents in Pakistan and stop launching attacks into Afghanistan from Pakistani sanctuaries. The Taliban were arrested in an early morning raid on a madrasa, or religious school, in Pushtoonabad, a Quetta neighborhood where many Afghan refugees live, police said."We arrested 28 people from there and they are all Taliban fighters," senior Quetta police officer Qazi Abdul Wahid told Reuters. Four other suspects were arrested in another part of the city, he said. Quetta police have conducted several similar raids over recent months, picking up scores of Taliban including some getting treatment for wounds sustained in Afghan fighting. Pakistani authorities handed most of them over to Afghan authorities but they said none appeared to be Taliban. Afghanistan and its allies say while Pakistan has arrested or killed hundreds of al Qaeda militants since Pakistan joined the U.S.-led war on terrorism after the September 11 attacks, it has taken little action against Taliban in Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf said at the weekend while the Taliban were essentially an Afghan problem, they were being supported by "elements" on the Pakistani side. He vowed action. "We need to put our house in order, here on our side, and make sure that this support is cut off, but the main battle is in Afghanistan," Musharraf told a news conference with visiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair.