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Pakistani Taliban Release 29 Security Personnel


Pakistani Taliban have released 29 police and soldiers kidnapped during a raid on a police station in northwestern Swat Valley.

No other details were immediately available. Militants captured the base just south of the valley's main town Mingora after a day-long siege. The militants then blew up the base and escaped with the hostages.The Pakistani military is battling a growing Islamic insurgency in Swat Valley, which once was a renowned ski resort.

In other news, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to meet in Pakistan later todaywith the country's leaders. Mr. Ban first made a quick unannounced visit to Afghanistan, where he met with President Hamid Karzai. A Pakistani foreign ministry official told the French news agency that Mr. Ban is expected to announce the formation of a U.N. probe into the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Ms. Bhutto was killed at a campaign rally in December 2007.The government of then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as well as the United States blamed the assassination on Islamic extremists. The late prime minister's Pakistan People's Party alleged that forces linked to Mr. Musharraf were involved.

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