23 Feb 2009

NW Frontier govt to isue arms to rural people

8:16 am on 23 February 2009

North West Frontier Province in Pakistan is to issue rifles to people in rural areas in a bid to counter the Taliban.

Chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti has ordered the distribution of 30,000 rifles among "peaceful individuals and organised groups" under a village defence programme.

His office said on Sunday the move was aimed at increasing cooperation between the people and police against terrorists and saboteurs.

The provincial government said the rifles have been confiscated from "terrorists and anti-social elements".