Pakistani Town Beats Back Taliban
Locals raid militant invaders as army gains in Swat
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2009 7:35 AM CDT
Displaced people struggle to get blocks of ice during a distribution at the Chota Lahore refugee camp, at Swabi, in northwest Pakistan, Wednesday, May 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – Armed residents of a town in the troubled Swat Valley fought off Taliban forces yesterday,  the latest sign that locals are helping the Pakistan army beat back militants, reports the Wall Street Journal. Several Taliban fighters were captured when hundreds of residents stormed out of the mountain town of Kalam, which has already been attacked several times. "We will not allow Taliban to come here," said the town's deputy mayor.

This week, Pakistani forces dealt the Taliban a major setback when they retook the town of Matta, one of the insurgents' primary holdouts. About 15,000 troops have been deployed in Swat against an estimated 5,000 militants, and millions have been forced to flee their homes in what international organizations have termed a severe humanitarian crisis.