Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Authorities in Pakistan imposed a food blockade

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    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Authorities in Pakistan imposed a food blockade

    Islamabad, Nov 23 (PTI) Authorities in Pakistan have imposed a food blockade and a 12-hour curfew in the country's north-western Swat valley to put pressure on militant followers of pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah.
    As army troops continued their operations against the militants across Swat and the nearby Shangla district, authorities took steps yesterday to prevent food supplies reaching the rebels.

    Check posts were also established at Kabal, Kanju and Sangotha "all strongholds of the Fazlullah's men" to ensure that arms, ammunition and other supplies did not reach the militants.

    Food supplies going to Khwazakhela, Charbagh, Kalam, Madyan, Bahrain, Matta and Shangla, all areas that were over-run by the militants, would be seized, officials said.

    Fazlullah's spokesman Sirajuddin warned that the militants might unleash suicide bombers if authorities did not lift the blockade.

    Authorities also clamped a 12-hour curfew from 2 am this morning in the Swat valley.

    The army's signal corps has also blocked Fazlullah's illegal FM radio station. The military has set up five FM channels, including one using Fazlullah's radio frequency that is broadcasting Quranic verses to counter the cleric's broadcasts, Dawn newspaper reported.

    Gunship helicopters and artillery are still being used to pound suspected militant positions. However, local residents have said that two civilians were killed in Khwazakhela and two others in Kabal.

    The troops continued their advance towards Alpuri, a key town in Shangla district, by engaging militant positions around the Shangla-Kandao pass. PTI

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