Pakistan Sends Troops to Halt Taliban Advance

Militants attack forces sent to retake district overrun by Taliban
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2009 2:01 AM CDT
A street is deserted at the Sawari's market, near Daggar in Buner, Pakistan, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
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(Newser) – Pakistan has rushed  hundreds of  troops to an area overrun by Taliban militants, AFP reports. The extremists have seized control of Buner district—just 60 miles west of the capital—and witnesses say they are patrolling the streets, barring women from public places, and warning residents not to engage in "un-Islamic activities."

"Local police are helpless and seem to have lost control," a resident said. "Taliban are moving freely everywhere in the town." The troops—whose convoy has come under fire from militants—were dispatched amid warnings that the Taliban is moving even closer to the capital and is well-placed to seize vital roads and dams.