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Pakistan's Military Cuts Food Supplies to Militants in Northwestern Pakistan


Pakistani officials have imposed a food blockade, as part of their strategy against a militant uprising in the North West Frontier Province.

Officials Friday said they have cut off food supplies to militants in the troubled Swat Valley region. Pakistan's military is not allowing food to go through checkpoints.

The food blockade comes as the military continues its offensive against insurgents in Swat Valley. More than 220 people have died in clashes just in the last few weeks.

Military officials say police Friday shot and killed a suspected militant, and wounded another believed to be wearing a suicide belt - after the two men failed to obey orders to stop in Swat.

Unrest erupted in the Swat Valley last month when pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah declared a holy war against the government, spreading his message through a pirate FM radio station.

Since the unrest began, fighters loyal to Fazlullah have seized control of several towns and police stations in northern Pakistan without much resistance from the army.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf justified imposing emergency rule on November third by saying it was necessary to curb rising extremism in the country.

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