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Taliban demands release of 210 militants

The Pakistani Taliban in the restive Swat valley demanded the release of 210 militant prisoners immediately as part of a peace deal signed with authorities in the North West Frontier Province.

world Updated: Mar 18, 2009 18:26 IST

The Pakistani Taliban in the restive Swat valley on Wednesday demanded the release of 210 militant prisoners immediately as part of a peace deal signed with authorities in the North West Frontier Province.

The Taliban said the prisoners should be released as per the peace agreement signed last month between the NWFP government and the Tehrik-t-Nifaz-E-shariah Muhammadi, a group of religious hardliners. Authorities in the NWFP have already released 12 taliban prisoners.

The Taliban's demand came a day after Islamic courts began functioning in Swat even though a regulation for implementing Sharia or Islamic law has not been formally notified. A Qazi court had yesterday decided the first case under Islamic law.

TNSM Chief Sufi Muhammad, the father-in-law of local Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah, has already warned judges and lawyers not to attend courts, saying they have no role under the Islamic system.