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As it Happened -

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(generated from captions) SBS World News Australia at 9:30 - Coming up in from Pakistan's Prime Minister - fighting words the elimination of the Taliban, he's ordered

the country's sovereignty. who, he says, are threatening has now stepped up its assault The military Swat Valley. in the Taliban-dominated to hold police at bay A gunman is continuing in the New Zealand city of Napier. that the man had killed himself. Police have denied earlier reports and South Australia Jumps racing trainers in Victoria to fight efforts to ban the sport.

has apologised And Chelsea's Didier Drogba of a referee this week, for his verbal assault on children. especially for its possible effects Those stories and more at 9:30.

America's emotions, captive by the militants in Iran. like the American hostages, are held were usually the hardest. The mornings "Oh, I'm still here." Waking up and saying And then the prospect of another day in that hellhole. a diary as a hostage. I started to write a diary, Day 171. Monday, April 22, 1980. just happened. "Another amazing thing "Jerry was reading a book, looking out the window. "Bill was laying on the mattress "And sitting there was a dove. staring at us. "It was just sitting there, the priest who was here at Easter, "The thing that came to mind was when we'd see a dove, "telling us maybe that freedom was on its way. "it'd be a symbol from God Oh Lord, please take us home." "Was it really a sign? mission to rescue the Americans Just two days later, a top-secret in the desert in Tabas. would flame out Eight Americans were dead, had received a terrible blow Jimmy Carter's presidency as uncertain as ever. and the fate of the hostages remained April 25th, 1980. Is this good or is this bad? Something's going on.

that surrounded the embassy, There were loudspeakers and on the 25th, constantly playing the death march. the loudspeakers started They came in and said "Get ready. we're going to move you." "In a few minutes, at night with three other guys. I was taken out of the embassy I just didn't know what. I knew something had happened. and scattering us, they said When they were taking us out of something bad that Carter did." "We're doing this because to Iran's officials, had... The United States, according after the failed rescue, that erupted

found herself trapped in Tehran. the mother of Marine Kevin Hermening some decent clothes and said They came in, they brought him "C'mon, you're coming with us." just almost in a state of shock. And when he came back he was believe this. I just saw my mother." Says "You guys aren't gonna government in travelling to Tehran She had defied the American visiting with her son. to spend a half hour of possibly persuading the Iranians She left the embassy with some hope to let her bring her son home, the morning after the rescue mission only to awaken to a substantially altered reality. about the fate of her son. Timm was frightened, was concerned able to get out of Tehran. Was worried she was not going to be Under those circumstances and criticised the United States attended a press conference for attempting the rescue mission. that our president took yesterday, ..deeply regret the actions for that action. and we would like to apologise had been raised Kevin Hermening's hopes be able to leave with his mother, that it was possible that he might of staying behind hurt all the more. and suddenly the prospect to the hostages in captivity, Like most things that happened there was no rhyme or reason to it. and said "Come with us." All of a sudden they came in I said "Okay, what did I do?" "You're making a phone call. They go He goes "You're gonna call home." I said "What d'you mean?" the Iranian Embassy in Washington DC My sister Judy had stormed to speak to her brother. and demanded through the system. It made it all the way stupid or we're gonna hang up." They said "Okay, don't say anything ringing and ringing. And you could hear the phone

and I said "Judy." When my sister answered the phone And she goes "Rocky, is that you?"

How you doing?" So, it was "Yeah, it's me. And she said "Fine." you know, small talk. You went through, more about what was happening... Obviously you wanted to find out and are things looking good? back home, "Hey, what's happening?" And right as you started to say the phone went dead. you just never understood. So it was one of those things They could never figure out to do one thing or the other, why the guards had decided the failed rescue mission, so the day after were escorted out of the embassy. they had no idea why all of them They showed no anger towards us. The Iranians were very confusing. as we pursued our nomadic existence. Life did become much harder dropped dramatically The quality of the food and sometimes there wasn't any. and very slow stretch... there. That was a very long to play shell games with the hostages The Iranian students continued for the remainder of the summer, to makeshift prison. moving them from makeshift prison that wanted us dead. There were factions in Iran us hostage to get what they could. There were factions wanting to hold by what the students were doing There were factions embarrassed and wanted us released immediately. bringing them back to Tehran. Gradually they began to two of the most notorious prisons, This time they brought them back Evin Prison and Komiteh Prison. is the amount of time, The thing I remember about that to get into this prison from the time we hit the gate till we got into the cell. And us going through gate after gate after gate. closed and locked behind me. I was put in the room, the door were two feet thick. The walls in this place Holy smokes! home after we got put in that thing. I just figured there was no coming In July, after more than 250 days of captivity, are being held some of the American hostages in Tehran. at the notorious Komiteh prison Richard Queen, the vice-consul, had a very serious progressive illness called multiple sclerosis, which was not even known to him. Nobody's seen Rich for a long time, you know - what's going on? They let us get the 'Sporting News' and on the back side of one of the pages in the 'Sporting News' was the fact that he had been at a football game as a guest of honour. So we knew he was in the United States. The Imam Khomeini decided to send Richard Queen home.

The hostages had been kept in the dark about developments in the outside world. Although rumours of things like the rescue attempt or the return of Richard Queen gradually filtered through their ranks. "Day 331. What a day it was today. "When we read about CBS interrupting a golf game "to run a half-hour live coverage on the death of the Shah of Iran. "He supposedly died on July 27th, a day after my birthday. "What a shocker it was to read that. "I really wonder where that leaves us."

Jimmy Carter had basically in principle agreed with most of the demands they'd made, but the Imam Khomeini had directed that the fate of the hostages would have to be decided by the Majlis, the Iranian parliament. By September, the Majlis was in place. Sadegh Tabatabai, who was the brother-in-law of Khomeini, made a proposal to open negotiations secretly with the United States. It looked like a deal could, in fact, be worked out. There was a lot of excitement about the possibility of a resolution to the crisis when Tehran was suddenly rocked one night by loud explosions. We're sitting at a little table in the middle of the room playing cards and we hear this jet coming. This thing was coming hard and fast, I mean (whooshes). Then all of a sudden we hear this noise, it's whoosh, fum, fumfumfum! And then goes whoosh right over the top of the prison. Dave Roeder was my only cellmate. We were just sitting there and, you know, lights went out. And then after a while we heard these thumps of bombs or rockets. And Roeder looked up and said "That's incoming." And you could actually feel the concussion of bombs that were falling in the vicinity. There was no doubt it was an air raid. I thought "Who the hell's doing this?" SICK: Saddam Hussein attacked Iran. The Iran-Iraq war had started. We used to hear explosions. We used to hear dogfights over the city, you know, planes shooting each other. I sat up there and watched the air raids on Tehran, cheering greatly for the Iraqis. While the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war scuttled the secret negotiations that might lead to their release, eventually the war with Iraq would be the thing that would force Iran back to the negotiating table. It made Iran aware of its vulnerabilities and should have given them reason to want to hasten any negotiations with the United States. Because they clearly didn't need other enemies. So they're feeling increased pressure to resolve the hostage crisis at the same time the presidential election in the US is coming to a head. I believe that this administration's foreign policy helped create the entire situation that made their kidnap possible. and superannuation will again be seen They have low fees and they pay no commissions to financial advisors. Industry Super Funds are run only to benefit members. With the presidential election so close, polls showed Carter and Reagan running neck to neck. There was an assumption that if Carter could somehow pull off a solution to the hostage crisis at the last moment, that it might be enough to tilt the election in his favour. The Republicans felt Jimmy Carter was gonna pull an "October surprise" by getting the hostages released in October, and thereby recoup his fortunes. and thereby recoup his fortunes. And the Democrats suspected that the Republicans were encouraging the Iranians to keep the hostages there until after the elections. As the hours counted down toward election day, the Iranians gave President Carter an opportunity to reach a rapid solution to the crisis. They presented him with a list of demands and directed that he publicly accept. Because the demands involved very complex financial matters, it was impossible for him to responsibly announce an agreement in the press. So he rejected the demands. CROWD CHANTS November 4th, the date of the election, was the first anniversary of the taking of the hostages. And the flood of retrospective coverage, it just dominated the press and the media for that whole last week before the election. The public offer of Iran in the final hours of the election campaign to solve the hostage crisis meant that expectations were raised once again that we were on the verge of a settlement.

And when the deal fell through at the last minute, it had the effect of casting President Carter as having failed once again. The numbers just swung to Reagan completely.

And he won a huge political victory. They came into our cell, were over. And that Ronald Reagan had beat Jimmy Carter. And they were sort of gloating. The Iranians had absolute, utter contempt for Jimmy Carter. When the Iranians exulted about having influenced the American election, the hostages cautioned them the hostages cautioned to be careful what they wished for.

The guard came in and said that Ronald Reagan had won and said "What will happen now?" I looked at him and said "He'll bomb you." The guard left and didn't speak to me for two days. A slight victory for me. I don't think you pay ransom for people that have been kidnapped by barbarians. The day Reagan called them and said he didn't negotiate with barbarians was a real shock to them. This was a few days after his election. Iranians are very proud of their 3000-year-old history. They don't consider themselves barbarians.

And they had looked favourably on Reagan for no other reason than that they hated Carter so much. They did not understand that Reagan might try to drive a tougher bargain than Carter. After the election of Ronald Reagan, much of the rationale for holding the American hostages was gone. The Shah was dead, the desire to defeat Jimmy Carter had been accomplished.

Now, the country of Iran found itself locked in a war. They'd essentially made their point. Those in power in Iran began to become actually impatient to resolve the crisis. Shortly after the election, a group of Algerian diplomats came to Washington and talked to Warren Christopher, the Deputy Secretary. Iran presented Christopher with four demands. Stop interfering in Iran's affairs, unfreeze all Iranian assets, remove all sanctions and legal claims on Iran and stop the remaining assets of the Shah from leaving the United States. I wish my family a merry Christmas, and I really don't have anything to add to my message last year. These very complex negotiations dragged on as the hostages approached a second Christmas. Around the 23rd of December, the Iranians moved us. Out of pr into the Shah's diplomatic quarters, which were as you might imagine quite nice. METRINKO: It was a room with real furniture, it had real beds. This was the first time in 400 days that we had access to a bathroom. So we knew something was going on. The reason for the move was the Iranians wanted the Algerians, who were negotiating on behalf of the United States,

to come in and judge our health and count noses and take names. The students started acting like we were all great buddies and friends. And like all this had been some happy lark.

Their captors seemed to become a lot more gracious and more civil

as though trying to make a good impression, but then... The mask of politeness came down on both sides. One of the Iranians came in and said "We really think of you guys as dog sh**. "We just despise you." And I looked at him and I said "You know, that's perfectly okay "because we think of you exactly the same way."

We have pursued it for thousands of miles. But can feel our warm breath from the back of its neck. (WHOOSH!) We've been close to perfection before, but we've never been this close. As the final hours of President Carter's term ticked away, his Deputy Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, negotiated the final details of what would become known as the Algiers Accord. As the legal hair-splitting continued the hostages see increasingly hopeful signs. People started coming in at that point. The Red Cross came in, and they all seemed to be fairly hopeful we'd be leaving there. I talked to the Algerian doctors in Arabic. And I said "What's going on?" They said "You're going." "All of us?" He said "All of you." In late January, each of the captives was asked to sit down for a one-on-one interview with the student spokesman, the notorious now Massoumeh Ebtekar, who was producing a propaganda film. That was just like as evidence to show that these people were healthy and handed over in total health. So we were interviewed by this lady we called Screaming Mary, because she did all the screaming for the chants and stuff and the demonstrations. Mother Mary... Few words adequately express my distaste for Mary. Sort of a bitch, complete bitch, I'd say. Very much in love with what she thought of her understanding of the West. Unpleasant person. The kind who assumes that everyone else compared to her is immoral. The hostages responded to Ebtekar's interview in various ways. For one thing, they were all informed that some hostages were going to be released, but that the release would depend on how they responded to her questions. So they felt a great deal of pressure to give Ebtekar what she wanted.

In English she interviewed us,

with very leading questions, of course,

She wanted me to say on camera that nothing wrong had happened, everything had been fine.

That I'd been comfortable, that I'd been well fed, that I'd had my medical needs met, all that stuff. I kind of told her where she could put the camera. He didn't want to speak. His problem wasn't making an interview. His problem was speaking with a woman. She said "Well, were you ever tortured?"

I said "Are you saying was I actually physically beaten? "The answer is no. "But was I kept in very close confinement "and situations of high emotional and physical stress? "The answer is yes."

during interrogation? No. Was I beaten at other times? Yes. At one point I was placed in handcuffs and they were on my hands without being removed for two full weeks as a punishment.

At another point, I spent two weeks on a concrete floor in the wintertime, living on bread, water and tea. She said "What did you learn about the revolution?" And I said "About the only thing I know about the revolution "is inside of three or four Iranian prisons."

She said "When there's a revolution, people get caught up in it." And I don't remember the exact phrasing, Unfortunately, the American Administration couldn't digest the Islamic Revolution in the beginning. And unfortunately, they started different ways to undermine the people's revolution. And she said "Well, you seem to think what we did was wrong. And I said "Look, you have to make your own judgments. "I think your children and your children's children "will curse you for what you've done. "Because we in our wildest dreams "could not conceive of anything more damaging to the Iranian people "than what you have done." After their interviews with Ebtekar, CIA Station Chief Tom Ahern was paid one final visit by his former interrogator. Hussein himself. I go into this little room... I come in and he's seated at a table. Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, remembering back to the point in their interrogation where Ahern had been beaten on the palms of his hands by a rubber hose, stretched a cord across the table. He goes through the motions of justifying what was done, explaining it's all for our own good, that kind of crap. And then, at the end, he says something which from him would almost qualify as an apology for the rubber hose episodes. He said that it wasn't quite Islamic and he picked up this piece of clothesline... The gesture he made was that I could do to him what he had done to me. I thought, here's my moment. I looked at him and said "We don't do that kind of stuff." He shut up and I left. That was my best moment. January 20th, 1981. As the preparations are underway for the inaugural celebrations,

Jimmy Carter spent a long night in the White House and with Warren Christopher in Algiers

working out the final details of this agreement. In the last 24 hours before Ronald Reagan took the oath of office, the intensity of the negotiations just increased and increased. Warren Christopher said Warren Christopher said "My commission expires at midnight "and I'm leaving." And the Iranians said "Well, when will the Reagan negotiators come to replace you?" "Well, when will the Reagan And Christopher said "I don't know. They may never come." And the Iranians had to think about that. (UPBEAT MIDDLE EASTERN MUSIC) Come in for a free financial health check -

just 10 minutes and it could save you money. Iran was eager to make a deal for the release of the hostages. The Iranians were aware that if they failed to make a deal with Carter before he left office, they were gonna have to start over again from scratch with Ronald Reagan. And it wasn't really till Carter was actually in the car with Reagan, riding up to Capitol Hill, where Reagan was to take the oath of office, that it was entirely clear that everything was done and the Iranians were gonna let them go. In Tehran, the hostages were told to begin packing up their things. We were ready very quickly. There's not much to pack when you have an extra shirt. We are handcuffed and we are blindfolded and we are led out. I mean, this has happened more than 20 times already.

So I'm beginning to think, you know, here we go again. And we're led down the stairs out into a garden and then...

They put us on a bus. It was very crowded. I ended up on the floor, as many others did. In every seat in front of me is a sea of American faces. And the guys behind me started whispering to each other "Are we going to the airport? Are we getting out?" One of the guards yelled out. In English he said "Shut up." And then in Farsi he said "American bastards." And I responded to him in Farsi without even thinking.

He's made a comment about one of the guards' mother. I didn't know what it was, but it was bad enough for the bus to come to a screeching halt. Just "Shut up yourself, you son of a Persian whore." And he got angry and I got hauled off the bus and beaten. I hear Michael at the top of his lungs, arguing with a guard outside. Yelling and screaming "Hey, untie my hands. "I'll kick your butt right here." "I'll kick your butt right here. And pretty soon, the door closes and the bus starts to drive off. But as far as I could tell, without Michael. And so there I was blindfolded, sort of sitting on the ground, and the bus was gone. Not a happy combination of events. But one of their leaders rushed over and said "Why did you take him off the bus? He must leave. They all have to go." And so they put me into a car. All of a sudden, you heard the sound of a jet engine. And that was the sweetest sound I ever heard. It's getting louder and louder and louder and louder.

And we drive in, obviously into an airport, onto the ramp, and there is an airplane

sitting there, with all kinds of Algerian markings on it. You're thinking, my God, and your heart's just fluttering because you're thinking, this is really, it's coming to an end. They took my blindfold off and I could see down this corridor and there are ranting Iranians screaming

"Death to America, down with Carter" and all this. You know, TV lights, cameras and everything all over the place. On the other end of this corridor is a stairway going up to a plane. You're literally picked up on either side of you by one of the students and sort of hurtled through this gauntlet. And they're spitting at you and throwing things at you. METRINKO: The final act of stupidity by the Iranian students. CHANTING noisy it was coming through all these screaming people. Going up that stairwell, not even looking back at all. When I get up there, I couldn't resist turning around and flipping the bird to that audience.

And I did. Inside the plane, for the first time the hostages were reunited with one another. You're looking around, seeing people that you hadn't seen for 444 days. Thin, beards, long hair, just, you know, raggedy clothes. Everybody was embracing each other and screaming and yelling. Saying "How are you?" and all that. It was a dramatic scene. There was somebody there from the Red Cross counted to make sure they had 52 people. That was a great reunion. The fact that everybody was there. Everybody was safe. As the Algerian plane idled on the runway at Mehrabad Airport, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States. The Iranians deliberately sat on it

until after the oath of office had been taken. The hostages finally left when Ronald Reagan was president. There was lots of clapping and yelling and everything else as soon as the wheels were up. As soon as we were in the air they wheeled out the bar cart, which was great. The pilot came on speaking English. He said "We have departed Iranian airspace." And there was a big cheer. After 444 days, the Iran Hostage Crisis was over. A few moments ago, on Air Force One, before we landed in Warner Robins, I had received word officially for the first time that the aircraft carrying the 52 American hostages

had cleared Iranian airspace on the (voice breaks) first... first leg of a journey home. On their arrival in Wiesbaden, the hostages are shocked to discover the reception that awaits them. This was the first glimpse that they had of the intense national interest in their fate. EXCITED CROWD NOISE Even more surprising to them was the visit that was paid to them by now former president Jimmy Carter. KUPKE: Jimmy Carter met us upstairs in one of the day rooms at the hospital. There were some people that were really hard on him. I wasn't sure I wanted to shake his hand.

I was torn because I was a captain in the air force. If he reached out his hand to shake mine, did I want to shake it or not? I decided I would stand at attention. I didn't want to shake his hand, because I blamed him for it. He spoke to us for an hour from the heart. At the end of that hour I was honoured to shake his hand. He seemed really sincere when he talked to us about our lives being his primary focus. I disagreed with a lot of his policies and his politics. He authorised the rescue attempt, took the responsibility for it. He tried. And probably because he was president, we were alive still. On January 25, 1981, the hostages made their long-awaited return to the United States. We all saw our families for the first time at the airport at New York, and obviously a very moving moment.

444 days is not necessarily that long, but it's enough to wonder what your family's gonna look like, at least your children, how they've changed. My wife and kids were there. It was wonderful. It was great. Feeling great right now. The best I've felt in 444 days.

I'll be home as soon as I can, sweetheart. Yeah, it's just good to get out of Khomeini land. People are hanging on trees and homes were tied in yellow ribbons. It was a multitude of welcomes. There were these thousands of people along the way with signs and cheering. I couldn't take it in. My wife said to me, she said "Wave to them. "Smile at them, they're here for you." Didn't sink in, did not sink in. It was overwhelming, it was truly overwhelming. And there was a certain amount of discomfort because we were all being treated as heroes. We were victims. And we weren't that. We were victims.

And that's plain and simple, we were victims. We were people that were held in filthy cells and incommunicado, our lives were threatened and we lived a horrible 14-and-a-half-month existence. And I don't think there's one of us that will define that as heroic. I found the hero worship, celebrity status, press attention, hoopla, after our release from Iran to be embarrassing. I couldn't endorse then and I can't endorse today that there were any heroes among any of us. We had gotten into a situation where it was, if you will, uncool to admit that you loved your country. Our men who had fought in Vietnam and had done a dirty job

and didn't get much credit for it. When I returned from Vietnam after fulfilling my mission requirement there, a young fellow spit on me. When we came back, somehow things had changed. All of a sudden it was okay to say that you loved your country. And that was a big change. And in fact, all of the military men who were held captive were given awards by the military, except for army sergeant Joe Subic, who was perceived as someone who had cooperated unduly with his captors. Subic never really believed that that was fair. All of them had behaved in ways over the previous 15 months that they weren't always very proud of.

The ordeal that they underwent in Iran to a certain extent came back with them to the United States. Some of the host embraced the celebrity and became in a sense professional former hostages. Many of them were eager to return to as normal a life as they could. REPORTER: Do you think you'll be home this weekend, sir? As they say in Tehran, 'Inshallah', God willing. And I just want to be... to become an American again. You pick up a normal life very quickly. One day you're at the White House kissing Nancy Reagan, eating strawberries and drinking Champagne or whatever. And a day or two later, you're sitting out in the cold in Washington, waiting for the bus. There was a pleasure in normal life, believe it or not. There was a great pleasure in that. Just that... I still once in a while... It comes back to me. The pleasure of being able to walk where I want, go where I want. It's a great deal of pleasure. The takeover of the American Embassy in 1979

only came in full perspective more than 20 years later when, I think, we woke up as a country to the fact that we were involved in a serious battle for the future with forces of Islamic fundamentalism. Much of the Muslim world is reacting badly to changes in the world.

We represent change. The hostilities between Iran and the US that surfaced in 1979 have never really gone away. The leadership of Iran today

is studded with the students who took over the American Embassy. I regret, and many of the students regret, the fact that the relationships between Iran and the United States very negative point. What the students did and what the revolutionary regime in power did was wrong on every count. It was wrong morally, politically, historically, and they have not yet overcome that blemish on Iran's character. On Iran's reputation as a responsible state. Those in Iran, including the former hostage takers who now feel that the episode was a mistake, tend to be those who are unhappy

with the direction their country has taken under Islamic rule. Some in Iran even feel betrayed by the father of the revolution, Imam Khomeini. The Ayatollah Khomeini is long gone, but the rhetoric of the Imam is still a vital part of daily life in Iran. Iran refuses demands from the West to shut down its nuclear program, and said they want nuclear power only for peaceful purposes. Secretary of State Rice calls Iran's president "dangerous". We have an Iranian regime that's determined to be on the wrong side of the international community the consequences. It doesn't serve anybody's interest to have a nuclear-armed Iran. This program is captioned live. New Zealand police deny reports that the gunman holding police that the gunman holding police at bay in the city of Napier has killed himself. The Pakistani Government orders the elimination of the Taliban after ending its controversial Swat Valley peace deal.

Trainers of jumps horses furious at moves to ban the sport in Victoria and South Australia. And Didier Drogba apologises for his abuse of a referee

in this week's controversial Champions League semifinal. Good evening - Neena Mairata with SBS World News Australia. An earlier report said that a gunman who's held police at bay for 36 hours, had killed himself. But police say they have no evidence that 51-year-old Jan Molenaar is dead. Dozens of armed police are still surrounding the house in the normally quiet suburb of Napier after an operation to recover the body of a policeman killed yesterday. What began as a standard cannabis raid quickly turned into a bloody siege and an anxious wait for police. Day 2 of the deadly stand-off began with dozens of specialised police and army personnel stalking Jan Molenaar's house. He'd already shot dead Senior Constable Len Snee, whose body remained on the front lawn overnight. Every time they tried to recover their colleague, police were fired at, until finally retrieving his body this evening. Two other officers remain critical, along with Molenaar's neighbour. He's being hailed a hero after he ran into the house and tried to disarm his mate. We know that he acted quite heroically and attempted to disarm the offender as he was shooting at police and for his troubles was shot also. Meanwhile, a profile of Molenaar has emerged. Friends describe the 51-year-old as a tough "1-man army",

an excellent marksman and self-styled Rambo.

Those close to him say his character changed after his brother committed suicide a few years ago. Even his distressed mother struggled to make sense of the violence. I just want to apologise to the police that was shot and those that are injured. Because of his time in the army, police suspect that Molenaar is heavily armed with high-powered rifles and explosives

that may have been employed as booby traps. They've switched off the water and electricity to his house,

hoping to break him mentally and emotionally. It could finish in the next five minutes or it could go for some days. REPORTER: Are you prepared for days? We're preparing for it to go some days. A close friend of Molenaar spoke to him earlier in the day and confirmed that he had been injured during the siege. Obviously not critical, otherwise he wouldn't be as chirpy as what he was. But he was adamant there was only one way to end the stand-off - with his death. Peta-Jane Madam, World News Australia. Pakistan's Government has torn up its controversial peace deal with the Taliban in the Swat Valley and is sending in troops instead. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says

the militants will be eliminated. But the Taliban says the army will get a "bloody reception". And tonight, thousands of refugees are fleeing the valley, fearing street battles in the regional centre of Mingora. Refugees flooding out of the Swat and Buner Valleys aren't just escaping the Taliban. Many complain that their homes were razed during government offensives in the north-west. And there's worse to come. Warned by its American allies that the Taliban was poised to take over the country, the government has torn up its controversial peace deal with the militants in the Swat Valley. In order to restore honour and dignity of our homeland and to protect our people, the armed forces have been called in to eliminate the militants and terrorists. Thousands of troops are moving north to join the battle for the Swat Valley, where helicopter gun ships have been pounding Taliban strongholds. The Government says an ambush on a military convoy was the final straw for the peace deal. But the agreement, which included the imposition of Sharia law, was already falling apart. The Government accusing the Taliban of taking advantage of it to strengthen its defences around Mingora, the main town in the Swat Valley, where the militants have promised the army a bloody reception. The US Defence Secretary, making a surprise visit to Afghanistan, expressed confidence in the Pakistani troops to get the job done.