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Hundreds flee during cease-fire

From Times Wire Reports

Hundreds of civilians used a cease-fire between a pro-Taliban cleric and the government to flee a mountain valley where four days of fighting killed at least 100 people, officials said.

Ali Rahman, a local police official, said about 600 people fled the conflict zone, many crammed into buses and others on foot. Television footage showed villagers wading across a river and struggling across fields, clutching bags of possessions.

Authorities sent about 2,500 extra police and troops into Swat district on Oct. 23 to tackle the followers of Maulana Fazlullah, a militant cleric who has set up a virtual mini-state and sought to impose fundamentalist Islam.


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