India-Pakistan: March 31, 2004


To obtain the release of eleven captive soldiers, the Pakistani army ended its siege of Islamic militants near the Pakistan border. The hundred or so fighters who were still under siege moved off into the hills, and another hiding place. Sixty-three of these al Qaeda members were killed, another 103 captured (along with 62 "local supporters") and another hundred or so managed to get past the Pakistani troops. At least 17 civilians died in the fighting, along with 45 Pakistani soldiers. The troops have gone back to their camp, while Pakistani officials continue discussions with tribal elders and chiefs. 

Indian police arrested one of the top three Nepali rebel leaders (Mohan Vaidya), who was in India for medical treatment. The Nepali communist rebels have long worked with Indian communist rebels, at least to help the Nepali "Maoists" set up camps in remote areas along the Indian border, and obtain medical care in Indian hospitals in the same areas. But in the past year, Indian police have paid more attention to communist rebel activity along the Nepali border, and established networks of informers. It was one of these informers who alerted the police to the presence of the Nepali rebel leader.


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