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Pakistani Police Officer Found Beheaded in Swat


Pakistani authorities say they have found the decapitated body of a police constable near the main city in Swat Valley.

Officials said the constable's body was discovered outside Mingora Tuesday. The constable was believed to have been kidnapped last week by Taliban militants in Swat.

In Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into a police checkpoint, killing one person and wounding at least two others.

Elsewhere, Pakistani authorities said they have taken into custody 11 boys who allegedly were trained by Taliban militants to become suicide bombers. Officials said soldiers recovered the boys, the youngest being nine years old, during operations against Taliban militants in and around Swat Valley.

North West Frontier Province Senior Minister Bashir Bilour says the government is working to rehabilitate the children. He says some of them have been indoctrinated to such a great extent that they call their parents infidels.

Pakistan's government accuses the militants of forcibly recruiting young boys in the tribal region, indoctrinating them in extremist ideology and training some as suicide bombers.

The military says more than 1,800 militants have been killed since it launched its offensive about three months ago in the area, following the collapse of a peace deal to impose strict Islamic law (Sharia) in Swat Valley.

Casualty figures given by the military are difficult to verify because journalists do not have access to the war front.

The fighting has displaced nearly two million people. The United States has pledged $330 million to help relocation efforts, and the European Union has pledged $300 million.

After his visit to the region last week, U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said more international assistance is needed. The Pakistani government says it will need $2.6 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The government began helping thousands of people return home over the past few weeks after declaring the area mostly cleared of Taliban fighters. But reports of skirmishes persist, and the military has admitted there are "pockets of resistance" in the mountainous terrain.
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