Pakistani Taliban capture 22 soldiers after government rejects terms
Pakistan's interior minister dismissed today Pakistani Taliban conditions for a cease-fire, including changes to the constitution and a break with the US.
Era Ismail Khan, Islamabad and Peshawar, Pakistan
The Pakistani Taliban have seized at least 22 men from a paramilitary force in attacks on three checkpoints in northern Pakistan, a regional official said on Thursday, but Taliban and other Pakistani sources put the number even higher.
At least 22 men were missing, two had been killed and one was injured after the overnight attacks, said Naveed Akbar, a regional official whose remit covers the paramilitary units.
Other Pakistani officials said at least 30 men had been taken, a figure confirmed by Taliban spokesmen.
This comes just after the Pakistani Taliban have outlined conditions for a cease-fire, including the adoption of Islamic law and a break with the United States, a spokesman said Thursday, an offer dismissed out of hand by the interior minister.
The Taliban, in a letter sent to the Pakistan daily The News, also demanded that Pakistan stop its involvement in the war pitting Afghan insurgents against the Kabul government and refocus on a war of "revenge" against India.
The letter from Taliban spokesman Amir Muawiya comes as the focus in Afghanistan shifts from a military push by NATO troops to potential peace talks, and amid speculation of a rift between top Pakistan Talibanleaders.