Friday, April 25, 2008

Taliban leader calls cease-fire within Pakistan

A top Taliban leader in Pakistan with links to al-Qaeda has ordered his followers to stop attacking Pakistani forces in the country's troubled northwest region as he negotiates a deal with the new government to end months of political violence, according to Taliban and Pakistani officials.

Baitullah Mehsud, who has been accused of masterminding the December assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, ordered the cease-fire as part of an agreement that calls for prisoner exchanges and a withdrawal of Pakistani military forces from areas near the Afghan border.

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