Archive for August 18th, 2009

Who is Alive and Who is Dead ? In Pakistan Terrorism is Alive, Peace is Dead.

August 18, 2009

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Maulvi Omar captured, says Baitullah is dead

ISLAMABAD: Security forces captured Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s top spokesman, and he acknowledged the death of the group’s leader in a recent US missile strike, officials said on Tuesday.

‘Everybody knows that Maulvi Omar has been arrested. He was a spokesman for the Taliban,’ said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister for the North West Frontier Province.

‘We will catch them all. All Taliban will have to face the same fate,’ he told AFP, adding that Omar had been moved to the provincial capital Peshawar.

‘Intelligence agencies have given me information that Maulvi Omar has confirmed the death of Baitullah during interrogation,’ he added.

US and Pakistani officials have said they were almost certain that the chief, Baitullah Mehsud, had been killed in the August 5 strike, but at least three Taliban operatives, including the detainee, Maulvi Omar, had called media organisations following the attack to say he was still alive.

Omar’s comments – relayed by an intelligence official who took part in the questioning – would be the first admission by the Taliban that Mehsud was dead.

The spokesman’s capture was the second arrest of a prominent Taliban figure in 24 hours.

As the official spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Omar frequently called journalists to claim responsibility for terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

As well as being the movement’s mouthpiece, Omar was an influential aide to Mehsud and ranking member of the Taliban.

Omar initially operated relatively openly – a reflection of the former government’s reluctance to tackle the group.

Reporters had his home and cell phone numbers. Omar would occasionally summon reporters stationed in Khar, the main city in Bajaur tribal region, for news conferences at his headquarters in nearby Mohmand town.

But after the army began an offensive in April, Omar changed phone numbers frequently. He never appeared in public, but still continued to telephone the media with messages from the Taliban leadership.

He was captured along with two associates in a village in the Mohmand tribal region Monday night while he was travelling in a car to South Waziristan, a Taliban stronghold, said Javed Khan, a local government administrator.

‘Maulvi Omar is in our custody, and he is being questioned,’ Khan told The Associated Press without giving any further details.

Earlier, three intelligence officials said local tribal elders assisted troops in locating Omar in the village of Khawazeo.

Omar’s capture came a day after police arrested militant commander Qair Saifullah, another close Mehsud aide, as he was being treated in a private hospital in Islamabad, the capital.

Saifullah, who is reportedly linked to al-Qaida, told police he had been wounded in an American missile strike in South Waziristan, said two police officials. It was unclear if it was the same strike believed to have killed Mehsud.

Saifullah appeared on Tuesday before a special anti-terrorism court along with Zaid Ikram, an aide arrested along with him. Both were ordered held for four days for investigation, prosecutor Raja Yaseen said, but he would not elaborate on what charges they would face.

The two men were being questioned for possible roles in attacks on US and allied forces in Afghanistan as well as terrorist attacks in Pakistan, said Islamabad police operations chief Tahir Alam Khan.

Saifullah is affiliated to Harkat Jihad-e-Islami, an al-Qaida-linked group that recruits militants to fight foreign forces in Afghanistan, Khan said. Ikram – who is Saifullah’s younger brother – played a major role in a bomb attack on Islamabad’s Marriott hotel in 2004, in which one guard was killed in the parking lot, he said.

Maulvi Fazalullah is alive: Gen Nadeem

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Updated at: 1600 PST, Tuesday, August 18, 2009  

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Special Support Group Lieutenant General Nadeem said Maulvi Fazalullah is alive but his infrastructure has been destroyed in Swat.

Lft. Gen Nadeem stated this during a briefing to US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke.

He said Muslim Khan made a call to commissioner Malakand yesterday who urged Muslim Khan to lay down arms as ground realities have been changed now.

Chairman special support said artillery and aerial operation is continued in Waziristan, however, ground operation could take several months. Baitullah Mehsud has been dead but his system is still exists, he added.

Source: The International News .

Fighting between Muslims and Islamic Blasts of Peace make Pakistan into pieces.

August 18, 2009

Suicide attack kills three security men in Miramshah

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‘The bomber struck his car into the security post, which exploded after the impact,’ the official said. —Reuters/File photo
MIRAMSHAH: A suicide bomber rammed an explosive-filled car into a checkpoint in North Waziristan on Tuesday, killing three security personnel, officials said.

The attack took place outside Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan.

‘Three security personnel, one from the army, one paramilitary and a tribal policeman, were killed and three others were injured in the suicide bombing at Isha checkpost,’ a security official told AFP.

Another security official and intelligence officials based in the area confirmed the incident.

‘The bomber struck his car into the security post, which exploded after the impact,’ the official said.

Hundreds of militants are believed to have fled Afghanistan into Pakistan’s tribal areas to carve out safe havens after the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime in Kabul in late 2001.

The region neighbours South Waziristan, the hub of Pakistan’s chief Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud, who is believed to have been killed in a US drone attack earlier this month.

17 Taliban killed in factional fighting

By Our Correspondent
Monday, 17 Aug, 2009 | 07:21 AM PST

WANA, Aug 16: At least 17 supporters of militant commander Maulvi Nazir were gunned down on Sunday allegedly by followers of Baitullah Mehsud in a South Waziristan area under the control of the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Azam Tariq, spokesman for the TTP, however, said his group had nothing to do with the incident.

Some local sources said the attack could have been the work of Uzbek militants.

The Nazir group had expelled Uzbek militants from the Ahmadzai Wazir area in 2007 after fierce clashes and Baitullah had provided them shelter.

The sources said men of the Nazir group were going from North Waziristan to Wana via Kanigoram in two vehicles when they came under attack.

Local people found 14 bodies, including that of Miruddin, a close associate of Maulvi Nazir. Eight bodies were taken to Shakai valley and six to Wana.

(Nazir group’s spokesman Shaheen Wazir told Reuters that the attackers “were hiding behind rocks and as soon as our people reached there they opened fire. It was so sudden and quick that none of our men fired back.”An intelligence officer said the attackers also fired rocket-propelled grenades at the pick-up trucks carrying the Wazir fighters.

A resident saw militants carrying some of the bodies to Wana after the attack.)

AIR STRIKE: According to sources, 12 bodies were found in a private hospital in Makeen area of South Waziristan after a bombing on Saturday night.

Officials said planes had struck a suspected hideout in the militants’ stronghold.

Local people said the Jan Alam Hospital in Makeen bazaar was run by militants and wounded people were under treatment there.

They said eight bodies had been retrieved on Saturday and four on Sunday morning. The hospital was destroyed.

Taliban bomb kills seven in Shabqadar

By Our Correspondent
Tuesday, 18 Aug, 2009 | 02:53 AM PST

CHARSADDA, Aug 17: At least Ten people were killed and Fifteen others injured when a bomb placed in a vehicle exploded at a filling station in the Shabqadar area, about 25 kilometres northeast of Peshawar, on Monday.

Police said the time-bomb went off when the driver parked the vehicle for fuelling before leaving for Anbar in the Mohmand tribal region. The driver, two children and three women were killed and a passer-by, who was seriously injured died on way to hospital.

The bomb were hidden inside a carton of medicines.

DPO Mohammad Raiz told Dawn that the carton of ‘medicines’ had been given to the driver by a man who wanted it to be handed over to a person in the Anbar bazaar.

Local Taliban claimed responsibility for the bomb attack. Qari Shakeel called newsmen in Charsadda and said that the explosion was a warning for the people of Anbar who had raised an anti-Taliban Lashkar. He warned that more attacks would follow if the Lashkar was not disbanded.

(According to AP, the Taliban also claimed responsibility for two weekend suicide bombings in the Swat valley, saying the blasts were a message to a visiting US envoy that the militants remained strong despite Pakistan army’s recent gains there.

A Swat Taliban spokesman called AP to say the militants timed the attacks to coincide with the visit by Richard Holbrooke, who has been tasked with pressing the Pakistani government to launch a crackdown on extremists.

The bombings were “a gift to Holbrooke,” Muslim Khan said. “The Taliban cannot be eliminated.”

He claimed that the bombings, in which a number of troops were killed, were aimed at avenging the alleged deaths of militants in army’s custody.

Lt-Col Akhtar Abbas, an army commander in Swat, denied the army was killing militants in custody and speculated that the Taliban remnants were likely slaying wounded comrades rather than leave them behind to be captured and give up information to government forces.)

Police have registered an FIR against Qari Shakeel and another Taliban leader, Adnan alias Usman, for the Shabqadar blast.

Those killed by the blast included driver Zahid, Taj Mohammad, Nisar, the wife of Matli Khan and the wife of Mohammad Sadiq.

Sources: The Dawn :: The International News :: Other Sources.