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Taliban fighters turn to disguises to flee Pakistan

Taliban fighters turn to disguises to flee Pakistan
Taliban fighters turn to disguises to flee Pakistan
Uncredited/file photo

In advance of last month’s air strikes by the Pakistani Air Force along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Taliban fighters bolted for local barber shops.

Looking for ways to disguise themselves, some 700 Taliban and local Uzbeks militants flocked into towns in North Waziristan demanding tightly trimmed beards and very short haircuts from local barbers. Most said they were leaving the war torn area for the Gulf and wanted to avoid being detained at Pakistani airports, specifically Islamabad.

Today, July 8, the Pakistani Air Force carried out more airstrikes in the North Waziristan tribal village of Degan, a longtime stronghold of Taliban militants. Reportedly there were 13 deaths in today's bombardments.

Waziristan is in the northeast region of Pakistan where the border with Afghanistan is porous; in fact for the most part, even locals have a hard time knowing where the Pakistan border ends and becomes Afghanistan in the high reaches of the Hindu Kush, with elevations more than 3,000 feet above sea level.

Nearly half a million refugees in the rugged war-torn region have fled since the first of June when Pakistan unleashed their military force on the Taliban. It is estimated that some 400 militants have been killed in the offensive. Journalists are not permitted in the area, so actual statistics on the number of war causalities, including civilians, militants, and military is not verifiable.

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