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Demonstration Held Near Bombed Madrasah In Pakistan

Remains of the madrasah attacked by Pakistani troops on October 30 (epa) October 31, 2006 -- There has been a protest today near the Pakistani-Afghan border against Pakistani helicopter missile strikes that killed some 80 people at an Islamic religious school, or madrasah.

Thousands of people reportedly denounced the Pakistani and U.S. governments during the protest in Khar, near where the assault occurred on October 30 in the Bajur tribal district.

The protesters say the victims were innocent students and teachers, but the Pakistani government says the school was an Al-Qaeda training camp.

In related news, a report done for the U.S. Congress says Taliban activities along the Afghan-Pakistan border appear to have risen in the nearly two months since Pakistani authorities reached a controversial truce with militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region.

The report by the Congressional Research Service said that seven weeks after the deal was reached, the rate of Taliban activities in Afghanistan appears to have increased, and militants may be failing to uphold their commitments.

(Reuters, AP)

Afghanistan And Pakistan

Afghanistan And Pakistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad in October 2005 (epa)

ACROSS A DIFFICULT BORDER. The contested border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is some 2,500 kilometers long and runs through some of the most rugged, inhospitable territory on Earth. Controlling that border and preventing Taliban militants from using Pakistan as a staging ground for attacks in Afghanistan is an essential part of the U.S.-led international coalition's strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan. Officials in Kabul have been pointing their fingers at Pakistan for some time, accusing Islamabad or intelligence services of turning a blind eye to cross-border terrorism targeting the Afghan central government. Many observers remain convinced that much of the former Taliban regime's leadership -- along with leaders of Al-Qaeda -- are operating in the lawless Afghan-Pakistani border region.... (more)


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