Local tribes have seized the airport, prison and petrol stations in the town of Chilas in the Northern Territories of Pakistan (part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been under the control of Islamabad since 1947). The demonstrators were protesting the US operation in Afghanistan. The Pakistani newspaper "The News" writes that a crowd of religious fanatics stormed the local prison and set 36 inmates free. The tribes incited by Islamic fundamentalists are also attempting to close the strategically important Karakorum highway from China. The local fundamentalists, who under the name of the Pakistani Taliban, are threatening, in answer to calls made by local clerics, to shoot down any planes which come into the area. The Pakistani authorities have so far refrained from using force to clamp down on the disruption to law and order. Efforts to influence the leadership of local religious groups have so far proved to be utterly unsuccessful. The population of the Northern Territories does not exceed 700,000. They speak Dardic and Iranian languages. The majority of the province's inhabitants, who live in poor conditions, are Muslims, while there are also Buddhists and followers of the Isma'iliyah sect.