Pakistani militants in North Waziristan abandon peace deal(Read article summary)
The step is a blow to the military as it battles a Taliban leader in a neighboring province. The two Taliban movements could now join forces.
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Taliban militants in North Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan, have ended a peace agreement with the Pakistani government. This development jeopardizes the military's plan to isolate and target the Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan, a neighboring tribal district.
A shura, or council, on Monday decided to call off the agreement – brokered with Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur in February 2008 – because the government has failed to meet the Taliban's demands that the Pakistani Army withdraw from the region and the government put an end to US-sanctioned drone attacks, reports the BBC. A Taliban spokesman added that militants would now "carry out attacks on military targets in the region until the army left and US drones strikes were halted."
The agreement with Mr. Bahadur was meant to divide Taliban forces in the area. The Pakistani Army is waging an offensive against Mr. Mehsud in South Waziristan, and, under the agreement, Bahadur would not join Mehsud in battling Pakistani forces.