Militant leader abandons deal
Islamabad, Pakistan – A militant commander in northwest Pakistan tore up a peace deal with the Pakistani government Tuesday, dealing a major blow to the government’s campaign against Islamist insurgents in the extremist-controlled Waziristan region.
The commander, Gul Bahadur, who heads the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan, ended his pact with Islamabad and threatened more attacks on the army after an assault on a military convoy in his area Sunday claimed the lives of at least 16 soldiers.
Pakistan’s military had sought to confine the battle in Waziristan to warlord Baitullah Mehsud, a rival of Bahadur and an ally of al-Qaida who has led the militant takeovers of several other regions in northwest Pakistan, but now it finds itself facing both Baitullah Mehsud and Bahadur, as well as a third Taliban commander in the region bordering Afghanistan. Maulvi Nazir, an ally of Bahadur, also announced the end of a peace agreement with Pakistan in recent days.
Until now, Nazir and Bahadur had focused on the insurgency in Afghanistan.
Agencies forgive some Haiti debt
Miami – Roughly two-thirds of Haiti’s total debt was canceled Tuesday when three organizations that provide financial assistance to poor countries announced they’re forgiving $1.2 billion of what the Caribbean country owes.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said their boards decided this week to end Haiti’s separate obligations to the two organizations. The move also triggered previously announced debt relief from the Inter-American Development Bank.
As of April, Haiti’s debt was more than $1.9 billion, according to the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research.