Battle for a Taliban town of terror

From The Sunday Times

May 24, 2009

Battle for a Taliban town of terror
Initially welcomed, the mullahs controlled Mingora with burnings and beheadings. Now Pakistan's army could expel them
IN a darkened room in Peshawar, far from prying eyes, a medical student from the Swat valley opens his laptop and begins a slideshow of terror. Over the past three years, the 22-year-old has secretly catalogued the horrors of life in Swat under the Taliban.

The burning-down of schools, bodies hanging upside down, public lashings and decapitated heads with dollars stuffed in their nostrils and notes reading, “This is what happens to spies,” were all captured on his mobile phone at great personal risk.

“I’m training to be a doctor; our mission is to prolong life and in front of me are these people who care nothing for human life,” he explained as, with each click of the mouse, he revealed more bodies in pools of blood. All the images were too gruesome to publish.

It was the first detailed account from inside Mingora, the capital of Swat, which was the focus of fierce fighting last night as Pakistani troops tried to drive out Taliban forces.
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