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Pakistan Offers Reward for Taliban Information

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik (file photo)

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik (file photo)

Pakistan is offering a reward of about $120,000 for information about Taliban militants linked to attacks or planned attacks in the country.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced the reward Saturday saying the government would be willing to resettle informants and their families in Pakistan or possibly abroad if they feared retaliation.

The Associated Press of Pakistan quotes Malik as saying the government has "broken the back" of the Taliban which he said is "breathing" its last breath. He said the militant group is "desperate" as it carries out "terrorist activities" in mosques, shrines and other public places.

He commented a day after Pakistani authorities announced the arrests of two suspected suicide bombers accused of planning to attack a mosque and government buildings in Islamabad. A senior police official said both men were linked to the Pakistani Taliban.

Malik said many of the Taliban militants are linked to the banned Sunni Muslim Laskhar-e-Jhangvi. Authorities believe the group has played a role in violence that includes the 2002 kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Malik said some Taliban militants are also linked to the extremist Sunni Muslim group Sipah-e-Sahaba.

Pakistani authorities believe Taliban-linked militants are responsible for attacks that have killed several thousand people in the country.

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