Supporters of an extremist cleric who had declared a jihad against Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire today after fierce fighting this weekend claimed between 50 and 60 of their number, Al Jazeera reports. Pakistan had sent 2,500 paramilitary troops to Swat to head off Maulana Fazlullah, who wants to establish a Taliban-style state governed by Islamic law.
"Later on we will hold negotiations with the government on establishing Islamic Sharia," declared Fazlullah’s spokesman. The militants captured a police post over the weekend; the government retaliated with helicopter gunships. Violence began in the region after government troops stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad this summer. Swat is part of the largely lawless tribal region bordering Afghanistan.