Archive for May 16th, 2010

37 passengers including women and children kidnapped by Islamic Militants in Pakistan

May 16, 2010
Pakistani government officials have accused Pakistani Taliban militants of carrying out kidnappings after coming under pressure from security crackdowns in Kurrum and other areas. – (File Photo)

Militants kidnap 37 passengers in Hangu

By Syed Hassan Mahmood, DawnNews|| Sunday, 16 May, 2010

KALAYA: Militants ambushed a convoy being escorted by security forces and kidnapped 37 passengers, women and children among them, in Toor Ghar area of Hangu district on Saturday. Two international news agencies, however, put the number of the kidnapped at 60.

According to officials, the convoy carrying passengers and goods was going from Peshawar to Parachinar, the Kurram Agency’s administrative headquarters, when it came under attack on the Thall-Parachinar road near a checkpoint manned by Levies and Frontier Corps.

An official said the attackers first punctured the tyres of some vehicles and then took the passengers hostage. He said the kidnapped persons hailed from upper and lower Kurram.

A police official in Thall tehsil, however, expressed ignorance about the kidnapping of passengers.

Kurram has been cut off from the rest of the country and by road travel from Kurram to Peshawar is not possible without an escort of security personnel. For the last three years travel between the two places is being done via Afghanistan.

The incident took place at a time when efforts were underway to restore peace in the area.

Militants frequently attack convoys in Toor Ghar range, a hilly track between Thall and Chappari. The area is part of the Hangu district and has become a stronghold of militants.

Over 150 passengers have been killed and more than 200 wounded in bomb blasts and ambushes in Toor Ghar since the administration partially opened the main road to traffic.

Agencies add:

The militants were dressed as policemen and first seized a vehicle belonging to the government power utility in the Kurram region and kidnapped four people travelling inside. The vehicle was set on fire.

Shortly afterwards, they seized several other vehicles and kidnapped 60 people.

Officials initially said 30 people were kidnapped, but later said 57 people had been taken from the convoy.

“The militants were posing as policemen and wearing police uniforms,” said Mir Chaman, a senior police official in the nearby town of Thall.

The hostages in the Kurram region included women and children, though it was not clear how many, Mr Mir said.

Details of the kidnapping were sketchy and Mr Mir said police were trying to trace and recover the hostages, who were all believed to be Pakistanis.

Robberies and kidnapping for ransom are common in the militant stronghold of Kurram, which borders Afghanistan and the Orakzai Agency.

Government officials in Kurram confirmed the incident and said efforts were under way to recover the kidnapped people.

A large number of militants, officials say, have fled to Kurram and neighbouring regions after the military launched a major operation in South Waziristan in October last year. The militants have carried out a wave of suicide and bomb attacks in tribal areas, killing hundreds of people.

However reports came in that erlier 50 hostages on Saturday from Pashtun tribal region of Kurram area are freed now by Govt. initiatives. Read details in…….>> Militants free 50 hostages kidnapped on Saturday

Courtesy : Dawn and Agencies.

Hardliner Islamists Warn Pakistan School Girls not to wear Western Clothes

May 16, 2010

 A student shows the threat letters sent by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan at Girls High School in Kali Shekhan, Quetta. — Photo by Online

Balochistan schools receive TTP’s threatening letters

Sun, 16 May, 2010 | Jumadi-us-Sani 01, 1431

QUETTA: A number of schools, including at least two girls’ schools, have closed down in Quetta after threatening letters were received by their managements.

Security was also beefed up in parts of the provincial capital and in Mastung.

Some of the letters threatened that if purdah was not observed in schools, then teachers and administrative heads will have to bear the consequences.

Similar letters threatening against wearing ‘western’ clothes were also sent to schools in Mastung.

The letters warned the school managements with the presence of informants among the students and the staffers and threatened severe consequences in case of non-compliance.

The letters, sent by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s Balochistan chapter, created a sense of fear and panic among the students and teachers.  

Courtesy : DawnNews and Agencies.