Militants Battle Pakistani Troops

Radical cleric spark deadly fight over Islamist rule
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2007 9:26 AM CDT
Militant supporters of a hard-line cleric Maulana Fazlullah walk outside an Islamic seminary in Imam Dheri village in Pakistan's Swat district, bordering Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007. Authorities...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – In the latest violent outbreak in Pakistan, supporters of an extremist cleric yesterday captured a police post in the north and beheaded 13 people following a battle with soldiers, reports the AP. Troops on Friday had raided Maulana Fazlullah's stronghold in the formerly peaceful Swat district, where the radical cleric has called for Islamization of the area and a jihad against Pakistan's government.

Militants killed security personnel and civilians they accused of being government spies. The government has been dropping pamphlets in the district, encouraging citizens to cooperate with authorities in the area, where unrest is threatening the power of President Pervez Musharraf.