Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 14:40 UK

Eyewitness: Trapped in Mingora

Mingora in Swat
A curfew remains in place in Mingora, the main city in Swat district

Fighting in the Swat valley between the Pakistani army and Taleban militants has almost completely destroyed the communications network and links with the rest of the country.

Tens of thousands of people have fled the area, but there are some who have not managed to escape.

The BBC's Urdu Service has been able to get in contact with one such person, who described the situation in the city of Mingora.

He agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.

The Taleban are still patrolling Mingora, and from where I am based, I can only see the army troops at the emerald mines.

The sound of firing can be heard intermittently in various areas of Mingora.

I hear of people who were killed or wounded after being caught in the fighting, but no arrangements have been made to take the injured to hospitals, or to provide them with any medical aid.

Neither the Taleban, nor the security forces are providing any help to ordinary people trapped in this situation.

Everybody wants to leave but the strict curfew by the government has given us no choice but to stay put

Someone told me that the Taleban have put the headless corpse of a government official on the Nawakalay intersection in Mingora.

He said that they later moved the body and left it in front of Palwasha cinema.

My neighbour, who is a shopkeeper, told me that he helped the Taleban bury four of their men in the Qazi Baba graveyard near Charbagh on Monday.

The body of another Taleban fighter was also there, but it was taken away for burial elsewhere.

Thousands of people are still trapped in Mingora, but the town is like a ghost city as no one dares to come out in the streets.

Even the gas connection was switched off today, adding to all our problems.

With no gas and food stocks running very low, everybody wants to leave. But the strict curfew by the government has given us no choice but to stay put.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific