RealNews

Pakistan Releases 78 Prisoners

Pakistan on Saturday released 78 Pakistani and Afghan tribesmen arrested during a recent counterterrorism operation near the Afghan border and extended a deadline for suspected fugitives to surrender. Local official Hamayun Khan said the 78 men had been freed by the army in the northwestern city of Peshawar after investigators declared them innocent, allowing them to return to their homes in South Waziristan. In all, 141 of the 163 Pakistani and foreign suspects captured during the March 16-18 operation in the region have been released. It was Pakistan’s biggest offensive since it joined the U.S.-led war on terrorism in late 2001. The operation, which left more than 120 people dead, ended when tribal elders sought time to negotiate a deal between local militants and the army. A week ago, five powerful tribesmen accused of harboring al-Qaida men accepted an amnesty offer, promising to live peacefully and not help foreign terrorists. Full Story

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