Pakistan jets bomb Taliban strongholds

Peshawar, May 13:

Pakistan fighter jets and attack helicopters pounded Taliban targets in the northwest today as President Asif Ali Zardari called for global help to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled the punishing offensive in the Swat Valley, escaping Taliban fighters who have terrorised the population in a bloody campaign to enforce sharia law and expand their control.

Terrified residents trapped in Mingora, the district’s main town, told AFP by telephone that militants had planted mines and were digging trenches.

“Please, please, please, do not call me again, they will cut my throat and say that I was spying,” said one resident.