03 May 2009
from The Times by Daud Khattak
Taliban militants who have seized swathes of North West Frontier Province in Pakistan have inflicted a reign of terror on villagers, landowners and the police, using kidnapping, looting, pillaging and murder to impose their will.
Yesterday, as Pakistani forces stepped up their campaign to retake territory in the districts of Buner, Dir and Swat, it emerged that in one Taliban-controlled village, Pir Baba in Buner, the militants were holding 2,000 people as human shields in case the army attacked.
Elsewhere the Taliban appeared to be relying on kidnapping to extort funds and intimidate the population. Many of their victims have been members of rich families.