Pakistan fighters declare ceasefire

Move comes a day after army targeted hideouts of fighters in Swat valley.

    Authorities have sent 2,500 paramilitary
    soldiers to the Swat valley

    Authorities sent 2,500 paramilitary troops to Swat to fight supporters of Fazlullah, who is the leader of the banned Tehrik Nifaz-e-Sharia Mohammedi, or Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law.


    Hundreds of people used Monday's truce between to flee Swat, one of the country's favourite tourist destinations.
    Residents said they had not heard any gunfire since Monday, though traders were still reluctant to open their shops.

    Fighters in Swat and elsewhere have been targeting security forces for the past several months.
    The violence escalated last Thursday when a suicide bomber attacked a military truck in Swat, killing 20 people.
    Heavy casualties
    Badshah Gul Wazir, the home secretary of North West Frontier Province, which includes Swat, said more than 60 fighters had been killed in fighting on Sunday.
    He said 20 security forces and civilians had been killed since Friday, but gave no other details. Another eight troops and four police were missing, he said.

    "Later on we will hold negotiations with the government on establishing Islamic Sharia"

    Shah Dauran,  spokesman for Maulana Fazlullah

    Shah Dauran, Fazlullah's spokesman, confirmed on Monday the ceasefire was in place and that the two sides would exchange the bodies of those killed.
    "Later on we will hold negotiations with the government on establishing Islamic Sharia [law]" in the region, he said.


    Mohammed Ijaj, an official at Swat Hospital, said they had received 11 injured civilians overnight, and that all were in stable condition.


    Over the weekend, the fighters had captured a police post in the nearby village of Charbagh.

    Violence first erupted in Swat in July, when armed men mounted attacks on the army after troops stormed the Red Mosque in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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