Now, the Good News… Taliban Releases 200 Pakistani Soldiers

With all of the political turmoil, uncertainty and arrests in Pakistan this weekend, this good news went mostly unnoticed…

A militant with a Taliban flag on a captured Pakistani army vehicle. (BBC)

200 soldiers released in South Waziristan
The Daily Times reported:

WANA: Pro-Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud on Sunday freed over 200 soldiers who had been taken hostage in South Waziristan over two months ago on August 30, a day after General Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency, official sources and a military spokesman said.

“The 211 soldiers the militants have released reached Wana,” military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad told Daily Times by phone from Rawalpindi. He also confirmed that the government had released 25 militants in exchange for the soldiers’ freedom. The militants released by the government include Sohail Zeb, a 24-year-old convicted “terrorist”, who is a relative of slain Taliban commander Abdullah Mehsud. Officials said the soldiers and militants had been exchanged through jirga members at Tiarza tehsil, 25 kilometres northeast of Wana.

Baitullah Mehsud demanded the release of 30 militants that the government had taken into custody for terrorism charges as well as the withdrawal of the military from South Waziristan’s Mehsud areas in exchange for the release of the soldiers. The militants released 31 soldiers last month but killed three others.

Pro-Taliban militants captured 280 Pakistani soldiers and 16 trucks in September.
Three of the Pakistani soldiers turned up later… without their heads.

Radical Islamists Capture “300” Pakistani Soldiers
Pakistani Militants Still Hold 300 Soldiers Hostage
Talibanists Display Their 280 Captured Pakistani Soldiers

Pajamas Media has a roundup on the rest of the news from Pakistan today.


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