SHALBANDI, Pakistan: On a rainy Friday evening in early August, six Taliban fighters attacked a police post in a village in Buner, a quiet farming valley just outside the lawless tribal region of Pakistan.
The militants tied up eight police officers and forced them to lie on the floor, and, according to local accounts, the youngest member of the gang, a 14-year-old, shot the captives on orders from his boss. The fighters stole uniforms and weapons and fled into the mountains.
Almost instantly, the people of Buner, armed with rifles, daggers and pistols, formed a posse. After five days, they cornered and killed their quarry. A video made on a cellphone showed the six militants lying in the dirt, blood oozing from their wounds.
The stand at Buner has entered the lore of Pakistan's war against the militants as a dramatic example of ordinary citizens' determination to draw a line against the militants.
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Incidents like this suggest that the same tactics that were used to marginalize and isolate the Iraqi militants could be effectively applied in Afghanistan, at least that's what General Petraeus seems to think. The problem, of course, is Pakistan where American troops cannot operate openly.