Pakistani militants abandon deal


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A group of Taliban militants in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan say they have scrapped a peace deal with the government.
The faction, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, in North Waziristan withdrew from the deal as the army stepped its offensive against the Taliban in the north-west.
The announcement comes a day after his men ambushed a Pakistani military convoy, killing 16 soldiers.
The group signed the peace deal with the army in 2007.
Hafiz Gul Bahadur's group had initially pledged to stay on the sidelines during the continuing operation against the country's top Taliban commander, Baitullah Mehsud.
Neighbouring South Waziristan is where the Taliban commander is said to be based. The army wants to eliminate his network of militants based in the mountainous territory there.
'Eliminated'
The group said they were abandoning the peace deal because of continued US missile strikes and Pakistan's widening anti-Taliban offensive in the north-west.
Announcing their decision, spokesman Ahmedullah Ahmedi, also said they would now carry out attacks on military targets in the region until the army left and US drones strikes were halted.
Most of the drone strikes have been targeted at Hafiz Gul Bahadur and another tribal leader, Maulvi Nazir.
Both leaders signed the peace deals with the army in 2007.
A Pakistani soldier stands with his heavy machine gun on a hill of the Biha valley in upper Swat on June 20, 2009

But Maulvi Nazir also abandoned his deal when he declared war on the Pakistan army two days ago.
The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says the scrapping of the deal leaves the army facing a near impossible task - no one has ever defeated a combined insurgency in the Waziristan area.
Pakistan's army began its military offensive in the Swat valley two months ago after the earlier peace deal the Taliban there broke down.
Separately, Pakistan's prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that the second and third tier leadership of the Pakistani Taliban have been "eliminated" in the government's offensive against the militant network.
He added that the top leaders would soon meet the same fate.
The full-scale operation against the Pakistan Taliban leadership in their main stronghold in the Afghan border region of South Waziristan has yet to begin, says our world affairs correspondent, Mike Wooldridge.
One issue cited by the army as they prepare the ground is that they want to avoid provoking a wider tribal uprising.
 
 
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