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WORLD
July 14, 2009 | Alex Rodriguez
They loaded their dirt-caked tents, clothes, bed frames and sacks of flour onto trucks early Monday and then piled into buses, desperate to leave the sweltering camps in northwestern Pakistan where they had lived for more than two months -- but unsure what awaited them in their war-ravaged hometowns.
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WORLD
November 10, 2013 | By Aoun Sahi and Mark Magnier
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The appointment of Mullah Fazlullah as head of the Pakistani Taliban signals a significant shift for the militant organization into a potentially more uncompromising, violent group based increasingly on ideology rather than tribal ties, analysts said. Fazlullah, a hard-liner from Pakistan's Swat Valley, was named Thursday after his predecessor was killed days earlier by a U.S. drone strike as he emerged from a meeting at a mosque in lawless North Waziristan near the Afghan border.
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WORLD
May 24, 2009 | Alex Rodriguez
The battle for the crucial Swat Valley city of Mingora began Saturday as Pakistani troops waged fierce street combat with Taliban militants and began the most difficult test yet in the monthlong offensive to regain much of northwest Pakistan from insurgents.
WORLD
October 11, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
If the Nobel Peace Prize were awarded to the most inspiring triumph of reason over brutality, 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai would be booking a flight to Oslo. The Pakistani schoolgirl's activism for education and equality in defiance of Taliban bullets made her a favorite for Friday's prestigious award. That the Nobel committee decided instead to recognize the work of enforcers of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention disappointed legions of Malala admirers worldwide but failed to shake their belief that she was the most deserving.
WORLD
April 14, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari signed a regulation to put a northwestern district under Islamic law as part of a peace deal with militants, after coming under intense pressure from his party's members and other lawmakers. Islamic militants have terrorized the Swat Valley for nearly two years, seeking to impose their own justice system. Zardari's move was sure to further anger rights activists and feed fears among Western allies that the valley, bordering Afghanistan, will become a haven for militants.
WORLD
May 9, 2009 | Associated Press
Pakistani jets screamed over this Taliban-controlled town Friday and bombed suspected militant positions as hundreds of thousands fled and trapped residents appealed for a pause in the fighting so they could escape. Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said 140 militants had been killed in the last 24 hours, in addition to about 150 already reported slain. He didn't provide figures for civilian deaths, but witnesses and local news reports say that some have been killed.
WORLD
August 16, 2009 | Associated Press
A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a checkpoint in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley, killing at least five people Saturday. It was the first suicide attack in Swat since July, when the government said its forces had mostly driven out Pakistani Taliban fighters from the area in its largest offensive against the militants in years. About 2 million people fled the area during the fighting. A day earlier, Swat residents who had returned staged celebrations of Pakistan's independence day. In some places, women danced in the streets -- an act of defiance, since the hard-line Islamist Taliban banned women from public during their rule.
WORLD
October 26, 2009 | Alex Rodriguez
Members of the 40-day-old tribal militia in this Swat Valley village come in all shapes, from all walks of life. Some struggle to fasten bandoleers around pot bellies; some haven't finished high school. They are doctors and teachers, wealthy landowners and dirt-poor wheat farmers. Some make their way with Kalashnikov rifles slung over their shoulders, others with only a wooden stick in hand. What unites them is the memory of the Taliban's brutality, a time when the militant organization took over Kanju and the rest of the Swat Valley.
WORLD
November 10, 2013 | By Aoun Sahi and Mark Magnier
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The appointment of Mullah Fazlullah as head of the Pakistani Taliban signals a significant shift for the militant organization into a potentially more uncompromising, violent group based increasingly on ideology rather than tribal ties, analysts said. Fazlullah, a hard-liner from Pakistan's Swat Valley, was named Thursday after his predecessor was killed days earlier by a U.S. drone strike as he emerged from a meeting at a mosque in lawless North Waziristan near the Afghan border.
WORLD
April 4, 2009 | Mubashir Zaidi and Laura King
Face down before a crowd, the teenage girl shrieks and writhes, begging for mercy. But the three masked men holding her down merely tighten their grip while a fourth man whips her again and again. The video of a 17-year-old girl being publicly flogged by the Pakistani Taliban in the Swat Valley has galvanized the nation, drawing protests from human rights groups, denunciations from the central government and expressions of revulsion from many Pakistanis.
WORLD
October 10, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- In a possible preview of Friday's Nobel Peace Prize announcement, the European Union awarded its top human rights prize Thursday to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban for championing education for girls. It was the latest of many honors bestowed on the 16-year-old, who has become a celebrated international figure since surviving an assassination attempt last year that shocked the world. The award could play Golden Globe to the Nobel's Oscar.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2013 | By Jenny Hendrix
Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen while riding the bus to school in Pakistan, will publish a book in the fall. "I Am Malala" will be published in English in the U.S. in October by Little, Brown and also in England, where Yousafzai has been hospitalized. On Oct. 9, 2012, Malala was shot in the head while riding on her school bus in Pakistan's Swat Valley, as vengeance for her bold and public stand on education, which contravened the Taliban's policies.
WORLD
February 14, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
MALAM JABBA, Pakistan - Boys in tattered coats schuss down Malam Jabba's powdery slope on homemade pine skis. Galoshes nailed to the planks suffice as ski boots. Bamboo sticks serve as poles. A few hundred yards away, jobless men trudge to the top of a snowy ridge to scavenge scrap metal from the mounds of rubble at what was long the country's only ski resort, a posh winter getaway that drew moneyed businessmen and European diplomats to this rugged northwestern region known as "the Switzerland of Pakistan.
WORLD
October 12, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - On city streets, on the airwaves and in the newspapers of a country numbed by years of bombings and assassinations, outrage against the Taliban is suddenly reaching a zenith. A 14-year-old girl lies critically wounded because she was bold enough to publicly demand an education. It's a moment Pakistan's civilian and military leadership could channel into an all-out campaign against Islamic militants. Can they seize the moment? Probably not. Experts say there are too many obstacles.
OPINION
October 11, 2012
It's appalling enough that 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who publicly championed the cause of education for girls in Pakistan, was shot in the head and neck and critically injured by gunmen who boarded her school bus in the Swat Valley. Even more horrendous is that a Taliban spokesman declared that she had been singled out for attack because of her support of girls' education in defiance of Taliban edict. "Let this be a lesson," the spokesman told the New York Times. We hope it will be a lesson - that such violence is barbaric and counterproductive.
WORLD
September 26, 2011 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Four decades ago, a rangy civil servant in charge of overseeing the forested ridges and brick-hut villages of Pakistan's Swat Valley sought a pastime to get through slow days. He dabbled in poetry, composing haiku in longhand. His wife read the poems and called them "rubbish. " "Why don't you write about something you know?" Jamil Ahmad recalled his wife, Helga, telling him. She said his focus should be the tribes of Pakistan's northwest frontier, where Ahmad had worked for 15 years.
WORLD
April 30, 2009 | Mubashir Zaidi and Mark Magnier
Pakistani commandos dropped from helicopters Wednesday into an area behind Taliban lines about 80 miles from Islamabad, the capital, and regained control of a key town, the army said. But authorities faced a fresh challenge after militants seized a police station, holding dozens of officers hostage. Helicopters dropped troops before 8 a.m. near Daggar, the main town in the Buner district, the army said. The area has seen fighting between the military and Taliban forces for several days.
WORLD
July 19, 2009 | Alex Rodriguez
Naseem Hayat fights a war he knows police shouldn't be asked to fight. With just a handful of officers, the 48-year-old police subinspector spends his days and nights opening car trunks, never knowing whether the next vehicle that pulls up is the one primed to explode. Two months ago, that's exactly what happened. A white pickup pulled up, then rammed a police truck around which several of Hayat's officers were standing.
WORLD
February 11, 2011 | By Alex Rodriguez and Zulfiqar Ali, Los Angeles Times
The death toll in a suicide bomb blast at a Pakistani military training school rose to 32 on Thursday, underscoring militants' ability to strike sensitive installations despite army offensives aimed at uprooting the insurgents. The attack occurred at the Punjab Regiment Center in the northwestern city of Mardan just as cadets were going through morning exercises. Zeeshan Haider, a local police official, said a teenage boy dressed in the uniform of a nearby school appeared on the grounds and detonated the explosives-laden vest he was wearing.
WORLD
February 10, 2011 | By Alex Rodriguez and Zulfiqar Ali, Los Angeles Times
The death toll in a suicide bomb blast at a military training school in the northwest city of Mardan rose to 32 Thursday in an attack that underscored militants' ability to strike sensitive Pakistani installations despite a series of army offensives aimed at uprooting the country's homegrown insurgency. The attack occurred at the Punjab Regiment Center, an army training camp, just as cadets had assembled on the grounds and were going through their morning exercises. Zeeshan Haider, a local police official, said a teenage boy dressed in a school uniform appeared on the grounds and detonated the explosives-laden suicide vest he was wearing.
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