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MINGORA, Pakistan — In a voice barely above a whisper, I.H. stared at his feet as he recounted haltingly how the Taliban kidnapped him and a classmate as they played in the street. They cleaned dishes for a few days in a militant training camp in northern Pakistan before escaping during Friday prayers, he said.
The Pakistani army says it has so far found 20 boys like I.H., who is only being identified by his initials for his safety, in the battle-scarred Swat Valley, scene of a major offensive against the Taliban this spring.
They believe the Taliban hoped to turn the boys into informants, fighters or even suicide bombers. Some escaped, others were rescued by authorities. Maj. Nasir Khan said many more are believed to be in the hands of militants.
WASHINGTON — The United States is nearly certain the Pakistani Taliban's leader is dead, and there now is a leadership struggle within the terrorist group, White House national security adviser James Jones said Sunday.
Claims and counterclaims about Baitullah Mehsud's fate have swirled since a CIA missile strike last Wednesday on his father-in-law's house in Pakistan's rugged, lawless tribal area.
"Mehsud was a very bad individual, a real thug," said Jones, who appeared on three Sunday talk shows. He said the U.S. "put it in the 90 percent category" that Meshud was killed. "This is a big deal," he said.
By 1945, the Volkssturm was commonly drafting 12-year-old Hitler Youth members into its ranks. During the Battle of Berlin, Axmann's Hitler Youth formed a major part of the last line of German defense, and were reportedly among the fiercest fighters. Although the city commander, General Helmuth Weidling, ordered Axmann to disband the Hitler Youth combat formations; in the confusion, this order was never carried out.
"This radio called itself "Da Shariat Ghag Radio" or Radio voice of Sharia (Islamic Laws) have been airing programs on Taliban anti-government activities over the past three days," a resident of Qarabagh district Noor Mohammad told Xinhua.
A local official who declined to be identified also confirmed the report, saying Taliban militants have established their propaganda radio in the province.
Originally posted by FredT
The pressure needs to be kept up. The peace ovatures are nothing more than an attempt to gain time to rearm and re organize.
"Honestly speaking, I think we need more troops," Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister who took over as head of NATO this month, said from Kabul.
"I have seen progress in the south (of Afghanistan), not least thanks to the increase in the number of troops, so definitely the number of troops matters," he told BBC radio.
NATO has almost 65,000 troops in Afghanistan, with contributions from more than 40 countries, although around half of them are American. The United States has a further 36,000 troops operating outside the NATO umbrella.
The Pakistani Taliban's leader Baitullah Mehsud is gravely ill, his top aide has told the BBC.
Maulan Nur Syed denied this was linked in any way to claims Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US missile strike on Wednesday in a remote tribal area.
Both the US and Pakistan earlier said their intelligence suggested Baitullah Mehsud was killed in the attack.