– PAKISTAN’S CAPITAL PUT ON HIGH ALERT
Security threats prompted schools to shut down and embassies to restrict movement of their staff on Friday 04/10/2009.
Nematullah Kundi, a Pakistani police official, said: “This is a high alert. We have stepped up security in the city, in and around the diplomatic enclave and the area near the parliament building, which is the declared red zone.
Much of the recent violence has been concentrated in Northwest NWFP, Pakistan, where the army has been fighting pro-Taliban fighters, many fear Islamabad could be next.
The high alert was announced just a day after a religious leader, Sufi Mohammad, who negotiated an agreement that ended fighting between the Taliban and security forces in Pakistan’s Swat District has said he is pulling out of peace talks. Sufi Muhammad said, on Thursday 04/09/2009, he was withdrawing because the government had been too slow to introduce shariaa (Islamic law) in the region (see – Swat Truce II ).
Mullah Nazeer Ahmed, a senior Pakistani Taliban commander, said: “The mujahidin are getting stronger by the day and … If they [the US military] continue to attack us, then our soldiers will reach Islamabad.”
Mullah Nazeer Ahmed is based in the province of South Waziristan, where a suspected US missile attack last week killed at least three fighters (see – Bajaur-offer). Scores of Pakistani Taliban fighters have already moved from their stronghold in the Swat valley into Buner, a district located Northwest of Islamabad.
Israr Bacha, a local police officer, said: “About 20 vehicles carrying Taliban entered Buner on Monday and started moving around the bazaar and streets.” Talat Masood, a senior Pakistani security analyst, told Al-Jazeera that the fighters “can easily sneak into the capital”.
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