Pakistan's military has launched more attacks against the Taliban, as
supporters of a prominent cleric demonstrated against the militant
Pakistani warplanes pounded militant hideouts throughout
the northwest Saturday, following two suicide bombings a day earlier
that killed at least seven people, including Sarfraz Naeemi, a moderate
cleric and outspoken critic of the Taliban.
Naeemi's supporters took to the streets of Lahore and Karachi Saturday
to mark his funeral, chanting "death to the Mujahideen." Others beat
and burned an effigy of a Taliban insurgent.
say at least seven militants were killed in the air strikes targeting
the South Waziristan tribal region, where Taliban-linked militant
leader Baitullah Mehsud is based.
Mehsud's group has claimed
responsibility for the bombings. Hours after the attacks, Pakistani
President Asif Ali Zardari went on TV, warning Pakistan was fighting
the Taliban for its very existence and vowed to fight them "to the
In addition to Friday's attacks on mosques in the
eastern city of Lahore and the northwestern town of Nowshera, a
spokesman for Mehsud also claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bombing
of Peshawar's Pearl Continental hotel that killed nine people.
has been hit by a series of attacks that some officials suspect are
revenge for a government offensive against militants in the
northwestern region of Swat Valley.
The military launched the
offensive in late April after Taliban militants violated a peace deal
and advanced to within 100 kilometers of the capital, Islamabad.
officials say Pakistan is planning a new offensive in South Waziristan,
which borders Afghanistan. But Pakistan's government has yet to
formally announce a military operation in the tribal region.
police said an officer was killed and at least eight others wounded
when a roadside bomb hit a prison van in the northwestern town of Kohat.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.