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Pakistani Cleric Sets Deadline for Implementation of Sharia

A hardline Muslim cleric in Pakistan's volatile Swat Valley said Sunday the government must fulfill its promise to set up strict Islamic courts in the region by March 15 or face protests.

Cleric Sufi Mohammad told reporters in Swat's main city of Mingora on Sunday that the government has not yet taken any practical steps toward implementing the court system.

Mohammad negotiated a controversial deal with officials from North West Frontier Province to allow Sharia to be imposed in the region that includes Swat Valley.

In exchange, local Taliban militants promised to end their two-year violent insurgency.

Mohammad also called on both sides to release each others prisoners before mid-March.

Also Sunday, Pakistan's military said a convoy of security forces was attacked by a roadside bomb and small arms fire in Kabal district of Swat, wounding at least one soldier.

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