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Mullah FM, Taliban 'Back in Swat'

According to Pakistan's Daily Times, Mullah "FM" Fazlullah and his band of Taliban are back in Swat agency in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Armed supporters of rebel cleric Maulana Fazlullah reappeared in the Matta tehsil of Swat and were seen marching on the roads on Wednesday.

According to locals, commanders Iqbal Hussain and Ikramuddin led the armed militants — numbering between 40 and 45. The local Taliban marched in the Shakar Darra area, which is 500 metres from the Baryam checkpost. Neither the security personnel at the checkpost, nor the area police officials posed any resistance to the show of strength. Locals said that the militants were travelling to the Pisho Dherai area.

Meanwhile, sources in the area said that the local Taliban have completed renovations on the madrassa in Imam Dheri that had once served as headquarters for Fazlullah. They said that the Taliban would offer their Friday prayers in the mosque from which Fazlullah had broadcast his illegal FM radio station.

Pakistan's Army Chief of Staff General Kiyani had launched major operations to clear Taliban from the relatively small Swat Valley. The Swat Valley is one of the most breath-takingly beautiful landscapes on Earth and the stark contrast of violence brought by al-Qaeda and the Taliban is no small irony.