Pakistan Wins Key City Back

The won the battle, but now the prize city stands empty. Pakistani soldiers successfully drove the Taliban out of critical Swat Valley polis Mingora, but the Associated Press reports that the city—which usually has hundreds of thousands of residents—has been utterly drained, and some 3 million Swat Valley residents have fled the region. With top Taliban leaders still at large, Pakistan's strategic victory rings a little hollow now—or is that just the echo of combat boots on empty streets? Meanwhile, American envoy Richard Holbrooke rejected Osama bin Laden's claim that the Swat Valley refugee crisis is America's fault. Speaking from Islamabad, Holbrooke said, "The idea that anyone is responsible for the refugee crisis other than al-Qaeda and the Taliban and other people that have caused such tragedy in Pakistan is ludicrous." Holbrooke defended the Pakistani army and announced a push in Congress dial up America's promised $110 million for Swat Valley refugees to $200 million.