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Taliban Tighten Their Grip on Pakistan's Northwest

ISLAMABAD (AP) - Officials say Taliban militants in Pakistan's
Swat Valley have extended their grip to a neighboring district.
They're patrolling roads and broadcasting radio sermons in the
latest sign that a government-backed peace deal has actually
emboldened the extremists.
Pakistan's president signed off on the peace pact last week in
hopes of calming Swat, where hundreds have died in two years of
fighting between the Taliban and security forces. Under the deal,
the provincial government agreed to impose Islamic law and the
Taliban agreed to a cease-fire.
The White House and other critics have called the deal an
affront to democracy and human rights, and say it hands Islamist
insurgents a sanctuary.

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