Pakistan Routs Taliban Forces in Major Offensive

Government abandons diplomatic tack to cut militant violence
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2008 1:25 PM CDT
Pakistan Routs Taliban Forces in Major Offensive
Pakistan's para-military force uses heavy artillery to bombard hide-outs of suspected militants during a crackdown operation.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Pakistan blasted suspected militant hideouts today, launching its biggest offensive against Taliban forces since electing a government last March. The military cleared three militant outposts and forced the insurgents west, CNN reports. For weeks, tensions have mounted between militants and Islamabad, which abandoned its diplomatic strategy as insurgent strikes increased.

“Peace cannot be brought with force and aggression,” said the Taliban leader in Pakistan. “This will be very unfortunate for the Pakistani nation if fighting starts again.” Baitullah Mehsud added that he would suspend peace talks with the government, the AP reports. But the Pentagon hopes Pakistan’s efforts will curb violence in neighboring Afghanistan, where security is “fragile.” (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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