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Al Qaeda, Taliban take over parts of Pak's tribal areas: Report

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January 25, 2006 15:41 IST

Al Qaeda and its former protectors, the Taliban, have virtually taken over parts of Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, especially in Waziristan Province, a media report Wednesday said quoting local officials and Al Qaeda video tapes obtained by it.

The tapes, which do not have any date, show a major resurgence of the Al Qaeda and Taliban with the two terrorist organisations openly recruiting volunteers for 'holy war' and calling for killing Americans and their allies.

The United States troops are not permitted in Pakistan and Pakistani army is barely visible in those parts, ABC television network said.

"Come join the jihad caravan," one militant gives the call as dozens of people watch.

"The Taliban resurgence this year has been enormous and quite extraordinary," Ahmed Rashid, author of the book Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and the Fundamentalism in Central Asia, is quoted as saying.

The tape claims Taliban officials have taken over government functions.

Last month, ABC News reporters had confirmed that Western aid organisations have been forced out, their headquarters burned, schools shut down, teachers and journalists killed, and music banned.

The tape shows men described as thieves being dragged through a village behind a truck, and later beheaded.

"We're seeing a complete breakdown of law and order," said Rashid. "The army is holed up in its barracks or in its bunkers," he added. 

A much rosier picture, ABC notes, was described at the White House Tuesday as President George W Bush met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, thanking him for all his government is doing.

"We're working closely to defeat the terrorists who would like to harm America and harm Pakistan," Bush said during a news conference.

But there's no sense of defeat seen in a second tape obtained by ABC News, this one produced by Al Qaeda.

The tape shows the planning of an attack on a government building across the border in Afghanistan.

The commander is identified as one of the four men who in 2005 escaped from a US prison in Afghanistan "and are now back in action".

The commander is seen on tape, giving a powerpoint presentation of how the attack was carried out.

It also shows scenes of fighters firing their automatic weapons and of buildings burning.

The fighters seen on tape shouting, "Bin Laden forever! Long live al Qaeda".

"It has regrouped, reformed and re-emerged with new vigour," Akbar Ahmed, professor of Islamic studies at American University is quoted as saying. "And this is a very dangerous emergence," he added. 

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