Security in a Pakistani valley was in flux on Saturday, after Taliban fighters quit their main base, but officials said remnants of the militant force were still roaming around the northwestern district of Buner.
“They have gone, but left their germs here," Abdul Rasheed Khan, the district's top police officer, told Reuters. “Now we have about 200 local Taliban who can be seen on roadsides.”
The Taliban's entry into Buner, some 100 km northwest of Islamabad, alarmed Washington.
On Friday, guerrilla commander Fazlullah, ordered his men to pull back to the neighbouring Swat valley, and his spokesman said around 100 fighters were being withdrawn.
Residents saw Taliban fighters abandoning their main base at Sultan Was village in the Buner valley.
But while militants from Swat had returned home, armed fighters who hailed from Buner were seen moving around as usual, despite hundreds of police militia being sent to the district.
“They won't lay their arms so quickly,” said Syed Javed Shah, a senior government official in Buner. “They know they have developed enmities with residents whose relatives were killed.”