31 October, 2006

Madrassa Attack:

The Pakistani government has taken out a madrassa (religious school) in Bajaur, North West Frontier Province, that was being used as a training camp by Al Qaeda. Early reports indicate that over 80 missiles were fired from helicopters and that at last 80 people have been killed. The locals are not impressed and have taken to the streets. So far, details are sketchy because the Pakistani authorities initially kept the press out of Bajaur. The BBC, however, has film of the aftermath and the early exchanges in the propaganda battle.

Prince Charles has cancelled a visit to neighbouring Peshawar on the advice of the Pakistani government. Very sensible, which is more than can be said for the Foreign Office officials who approved the visit. Has nobody told them that Peshawar is a Taliban stronghold where the Pakistani government struggles to exercise authority.

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