In mountain camps, Pakistan Taliban train for death

By Saud Mehsud

LADDA, Pakistan (Reuters)- Pakistan’s Taliban say they have started peace talks, but in a mountain camp young recruits learn how to mount ambushes, raid military facilities and undertake the most coveted missions — suicide bombings.

“America, NATO and other countries could do nothing to us despite having nuclear weapons,” said Shamim Mehsud, a senior Taliban commander training the fighters who hold AK-47 assault rifles and cover their faces with white cloth.

“Our suicide bombers turn their bones into bullets, flesh into explosives and blood into petrol and bravely fight them, and they have no answer to that.”

On Saturday the deputy commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, said exploratory peace talks with the U.S.-backed government were underway.

Pakistan’s prime minister denied this and said Pakistan would negotiate only if the group, which has been waging a four-year insurgency, laid down its arms.

There are no signs they intend to do that in the camp in South Waziristan near the Afghan border. It is in unruly tribal areas like this where the umbrella group is entrenched.

Taliban commanders escorted a small group of journalists, including a Reuters reporter, to the remote camp. To get there without running into army checkpoints, they drove to North Waziristan …

Read more » Reuters

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