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Taleban cut hair and beards to flee Pakistan army assault

Published on Jul 6, 2014 2:54 PM
 
This handout picture released by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on July 1, 2014, shows Pakistani soldiers entering a house through a hole to search it during a military operation against Taleban militants in the town of Miranshah in North Waziristan. Hundreds of Taleban fighters rushed to disguise themselves with new haircuts in the weeks before a Pakistani army assault, it has emerged, as refugees revealed details of life under the militants - and their taste for imported luxuries. -- PHOTO: AFP

BANNU, Pakistan (AFP) - Hundreds of Taleban fighters rushed to disguise themselves with new haircuts in the weeks before a Pakistani army assault, it has emerged, as refugees revealed details of life under the militants - and their taste for imported luxuries.

Azam Khan was one of the top barbers in Miranshah - the main town of North Waziristan - until he, like nearly half a million others, fled the long-awaited offensive unleashed by the Pakistan military on the tribal area in June.

He told AFP his business boomed in the month leading up to the army assault as the militants sought to shed their distinctive long-haired, bearded look.

"I have trimmed the hair and beards of more than 700 local and Uzbek militants ahead of the security forces' operation," he said while cutting hair in a shop in Bannu, the town where most civilians fled.

 
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