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Taliban kill, then behead three Pakistan tribesmen

KHAR, Pakistan -- Taliban militants shot dead then cut the heads off three tribesmen in a restive Pakistan tribal area bordering war-torn Afghanistan, an official and witnesses said Friday. Residents found the headless bodies dumped in the wilderness in Charmang, a known Taliban stronghold in the semi-autonomous district of Bajaur.

Local administration official Mohammad Jamil Khan identified one of the victims as a local tribesmen and confirmed his death. “Abdul Ghafoor was kidnapped three days ago. He appeared to be have been shot dead with a Kalashnikov and he was also beheaded,” Khan said.

Residents said Taliban militants kidnapped Ghafoor and the other two tribesmen because they were considered supporters of the Pakistani government who joined a tribal force to fight the Islamist hardliners.

On February 28, the Pakistan military said it had effectively defeated the Taliban in Bajaur, where a massive offensive was launched last August in the wake of US pressure to do more to stop attackers infiltrating into Afghanistan.

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