Taliban Leaves Key Pakistan District

Move comes amid peace deal in some areas
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2009 9:20 AM CDT
Taliban Leaves Key Pakistan District
A Pakistani Taliban, standing third right, offers afternoon prayers in Buner, Pakistan, yesterday.    (AP Photo)

A Taliban commander withdrew his troops today from a Pakistani district where their activity was fueling US concern, Reuters reports. “Our leader has ordered that Taliban should immediately be called back from Buner,” a spokesman said of the area, which lies just 60 miles from the capital, Islamabad.

A Taliban spokesman said that the withdrawal wasn’t due to any government pressure or a peace deal. But a BBC reporter cited growing “national consensus” that force is needed against the militants as public opinion. “Those who took arms must lay them down. Those who went to Buner, they must get out from Buner. This is the only way, and we are asking them for the last time,” said a provincial spokesman. (More Taliban stories.)

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