RealNews

Taliban Finds New Strength in Pakistan

A revitalized Taliban army is drawing recruits from militant groups in Pakistan, including Al Qaeda loyalists, as it fights an escalating guerrilla war against U.S. forces and their allies across the border in Afghanistan. These fighters are answering the call from Muslim clerics to wage jihad, or holy war, against U.S.-led forces, according to Taliban members and supporters as well as Pakistani militants interviewed on both sides of the border. The Taliban is also exploiting the alienation felt by ethnic Pushtuns in Afghanistan because of continued insecurity, a scarcity of development projects and ongoing U.S. military operations. But even as fighting increases, a relatively moderate element of the Taliban is said to be interested in participating in national elections next June, and discussing a replacement for Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s fugitive leader. He is believed to still be in Afghanistan despite a $10-million reward for his capture. Full Story

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