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Taleban set tough conditions for peace talks with government

Published on Feb 10, 2014 4:19 PM

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) - Taleban insurgents have set tough terms for peace talks with the Pakistani government, demanding the release of all imprisoned fighters and the withdrawal of troops from the tribal areas, officials said on Monday.

The militants outlined their demands to a team of Islamist clerics who are holding talks with the government on the Taleban's behalf about ending a seven-year insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.

Negotiating teams held a first meeting on Thursday, but the dozen conditions now laid down by the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) will further fuel doubts about chances of success.

A TTP commander told AFP the prisoner and troops issues were a "test case" for the government to prove its sincerity.

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