Captured Pakistani soldiers freed
Tribal elder says another four people will be released soon.
Ameer Mohammad Mehsud, a tribal elder involved in the negotiations, on Tuesday said the captives were headed to Wana, South Waziristan’s main town, to be handed over to government officials.
The tribes in Pakistan’s rugged Waziristan region are fiercely independent and the area has never been brought under the government’s full control.
Many al-Qaeda and Taliban members took refuge in Waziristan and other remote regions on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border after US and Afghan opposition forces ousted the Taliban government in Afghanistan in late 2001.
Violence in Pakistan, mainly in Waziristan and other parts of its tribal belt on the Afghan border, has escalated since a military assault on Islamabad’s Lal Masjid, or Red mosque, last month and the subsequent collapse of a peace deal with tribal elders.
Despite Pakistani efforts to clear out foreign fighters and subdue their Pakistani allies, US security officials say Waziristan and other border areas are sanctuaries for al-Qaeda and the Taliban.