Fighting Erupts as Pakistan-Taliban Truce Folds

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2009 10:21 AM CDT
Local residents sit on the rooftop of a bus leaving Mingora, the main town of Pakistan's Swat Valley today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pakistan's government abandoned its rapidly decaying truce with the Taliban today, al-Jazeera reports, with government forces openly battling militants in several parts of the Swat Valley following a Taliban attack on an army convoy yesterday. Tens of thousands of residents have already fled the area, and the government said it expects 500,000 more today, the AP adds.

A Taliban spokesman called government officials “worse enemies of Muslims than the Americans,” because they “keep violating every agreement,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Government officials say the Taliban are planting mines throughout the valley. “People are leaving with literally the clothes on their backs,” said an al-Jazeera correspondent, calling it a “pretty dire situation.”