Taliban fighters on Friday began evacuating Buner district where the government deployed extra forces under US pressure to stop hardliners advancing closer to the capital, officials said. Taliban militants armed with Kalashnikovs had patrolled for three days in the district of Buner, 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Islamabad before a local government official told a news conference that they had started to leave. "They are now withdrawing from Buner," announced NWFP information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain after officials convened crisis talks to decide how to counter the advancing Islamist menace. Muslim Khan, the main Taliban spokesman in the area, was not immediately reachable in the mountainous terrain with patchy phone signals, but other officials also said the Taliban had promised to quit Buner by late Friday.