The Pakistan army is advancing in South Waziristan as the Taliban digs in for a long, tough fight in order to determine who will control the mountainous area. As Pakistan soldiers drive back Taliban forces they are being attacked themselves as their enemy resorts to suicide bombers that indiscriminately blow themselves up in marketplaces, army headquarters, schools and on roads. Over 170 Pakistani civilians and soldiers have died in these bombings. UN sources indicate over 100,000 civilians have fled the region, but the fight goes on. Pakistan forces are under international pressure to dislodge the Taliban in order to demonstrate their ability to win on the ground against this tenacious enemy.
Civilians report they are being offered two choices by the Taliban– join us and fight the army or leave the town and region. They also report Taliban forces are digging deep entrenchments in the mountains even as Pakistan helicopters and bombers blast away.
Reporters are blocked from accompanying the Pakistan army. We will not soon know if this is a successful assault.