Sunday, September 2, 2007

Taliban take 156 Pak soldiers hostage

Sun, 02 Sep 2007 09:12:11
Source: Agencies
Taliban captured over 156 Pak soldiers.

In the latest attack on Pakistani forces, 20 Taliban militants captured over 156 soldiers who surrendered tamely without even firing a shot.

A much graver crisis threatens Pakistan than the decision on Musharraf's uniform with 156 Pakistani soldiers being taken hostage by Taliban militants
in the Wana area in northwestern Pakistan.

The troops were captured when a convoy going from Wana was intercepted in the Momi Karam area. However, the troops could have been trapped by the Taliban because they didn't want to engage in a firefight in a region which is already bristling against the Pakistani army.

They have been disarmed and split into small groups. A meeting, jirga in local parlance, between parliamentarians and tribal leaders is on to secure the release of the soldiers.

This is only the latest in a series of attacks on the Pakistani security forces, which started after the storming of the Lal Masjid in July. It's a huge embarrassment for the Pakistan army, which prides itself as the guarantor of security for the state, particularly against India.

The Pakistan army is the best ally of the US, which has funded and depends upon it to capture Taliban, al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.

This incident comes even as many soldiers are reportedly facing court-martial for not wanting to fight the Taliban. As Musharraf battles to save his uniform and presidency, this is an evolving crisis that will have international dimensions.

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