Pakistan's army is engaged in major combat in Swat, in response to attempts by armed Islamic militants to solidify their hold on the region. Pakistan reluctantly undertook the offensive under pressure from the United States after Taliban fighters had taken positions within 60 miles of the capital, Islamabad. The military says more than 1,000 insurgents have so far been killed in the fighting, which has forced nearly 1.5 million people to flee from the area.
President Barack Obama has spoken of the need to improve the lives of people in both Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of the administration's new plan for linking the U.S. fight against the resurgent Taliban in the two countries.
The Taliban has provided sanctuary to Osama bin Laden and his top al-Qaida leadership along the lawless and mountainous border shared by Afghanistan and Pakistan.
MORE POLITICS FROM AP
NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS
E-MAIL UP CLOSE || REPORT TYPO || GET WIDGET
UP CLOSE ON FACEBOOK