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Pak govt, militants agree on ceasefire in south Waziristan
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August 20, 2007 10:40 IST

After four days of bloody clashes in south Waziristan between the Pakistani security forces and militants, both sides have agreed on a ceasefire and prisoners' swap brokered by a tribal jirga.

"Under the deal, the Pakistani government will release 10 militants. In return, the militants will set free 15 paramilitary personnel," The News reported on Monday, quoting a senior member of the tribal peace committee as saying.

"The prisoners would be released in three phases and the process may take a few days," said Senator Saleh Shah, another member of the jirga, who claimed to have held meeting with militant commander Baitullah Mahsud.

He said it was a condition of the militants to release the held paramilitary personnel in a phased manner.

However, following the ceasefire on Sunday evening, the roads leading to Wana -- headquarters of south Waziristan -- and other parts of the tribal region have been reopened, according to the daily.

People stranded in the area have started moving to their destinations and goods, including fruits produced in south Waziristan or those brought from Afghanistan, were also being transported following the opening of the roads.

It may be mentioned that the militants had on Saturday unilaterally announced scrapping of the peace deal reached with the government in 2005.

They had accused the army of violating the agreement by launching military operations in different areas of the zone.

Four days back, the militants had also carried out a guerrilla attack on a security checkpoint at Jandola.

Seven soldiers were killed and 11 got injured in the attack while the military officials had said 15 militants were killed in retaliatory fire by army gunship helicopters.

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