H/T eye on the world:
Is living under the Sharia great or what?
(Times Online) TALIBAN militants who have seized swathes of North West Frontier Province in Pakistanhave inflicted a reign of terror on villagers, landowners and the police, using kidnapping, looting, pillaging and murder to impose their will.
Yesterday, as Pakistani forces stepped up their campaign to retake territory in the districts of Buner, Dir and Swat, it emerged that in one Taliban-controlled village, Pir Baba in Buner, the militants were holding 2,000 people as human shields in case the army attacked.
ElsewhereÂ the Taliban appeared to be relying on kidnapping to extort funds and intimidate the population.Â Many of their victims have been members of rich families.
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“Kidnapping has become routine in our village. Armed Taliban were picking up people and then demanding a huge ransom for their release,”Â said an elderly refugee now living with his family in a tent in Timergara, a town in Dir.
Police officers were also being abducted or killed.Â Last Thursday militants kidnapped a local officer and 11 guards in Upper Dir, an area that had been peaceful. In Mingora, the largest city in Swat, three policemen were abducted by militants.