Taliban stage a coup of their own
While the world’s attention focused on the troubles of President General Pervez Musharraf following his declaration of a state of emergency in Pakistan at the weekend, the Taliban have launched a coup of their own in Afghanistan and the Pashtun areas of Pakistan.
Pakistani troops had prevented the Taliban from launching their planned post-Ramadan (Muslim holy month) offensive into Afghanistan by invading the Pakistani North Waziristan and South Waziristan tribal areas on October 7.
The Taliban managed to set up a counter engagement by stirring their network in the Swat Valley in North-West Frontier Province, which took the pressure off the Waziristans. The November 4 declaration of an emergency and the preparations before it was enforced distracted the military. As a result, several villages and towns in the Swat Valley, only a drive of four hours from Islamabad, have fallen to the Taliban without a single bullet being fired – fearful Pakistani security forces simply surrendered their weapons. [complete article]
See also, Afghan suicide blast ‘kills 40’ (BBC).