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Pakistani Taliban to Review Cease-Fire


Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan say they are considering extending their cease-fire, but deny they reached a permanent agreement as local government officials had claimed.

The head of the hardline group of Taliban in Swat valley said Saturday that his group is reviewing its existing 10-day cease-fire. Maulana Fazlullah, said in a radio announcement that they will consider extending it when it expires next week.

Earlier, Syed Muhammed Javed, the commissioner of the Malakand region, which includes Swat, said the militants had agreed to a permanent cease-fire.

Fazlullah's father-in-law, Sufi Muhammad, who leads a separate Islamist group in Swat, reached an agreement last week with local officials to impose Islamic law (Sharia) in the region if his militants lay down their arms.

Taliban officials say Muhammad met with Fazlullah earlier this week to negotiate an end to fighting between militants and the government.

Militants from various factions operate in northwestern Pakistan. Some use the territory to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan, targeting local and international forces.

The United States and NATO have both expressed concern that the deal reached with militants last week could provide a safe haven for extremists in the already volatile region.

Meanwhile, officials say a roadside bomb exploded near a fuel tanker on a Pakistani supply line in the Khyber district used by NATO forces in Afghanistan. One person was killed, and two others wounded in the blast.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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