Archive for the ‘Defeat of Talibans’ Category

Pak Military takes holds, Terrorists in back foot ?

November 7, 2009

Twelve militants killed in South Waziristan clashes

Saturday, 07 Nov, 2009
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ISLAMABAD: The military said Saturday it had killed 12 Taliban militants as government troops pressed a major offensive in the South Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

Some 30,000 troops backed by fighter jets and helicopter gunships launched a fierce air and ground offensive into the northwest region three weeks ago and the military has since claimed a series of successes.

It said troops on Friday penetrated into Makin, the hometown of slain Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud who was killed along with some of his family members in a missile strike fired by a US drone on August 5.

Security forces were also consolidating their positions at Sararogha and its surrounding heights in the rugged mountainous region, the military’s media wing said in a statement.

‘In last 24 hours, 12 terrorists have been killed, and five soldiers including two officers were injured,’ the statement said.

The strategic town of Sararogha was a former operational base of Mehsud.

Security forces also captured a 30-feet long tunnel and ‘plenty of ammunition has been discovered and destroyed’, the statement said.

Pakistan, vowing to crush Tehrik-i-Taliban in the region, said so far 458 Taliban fighters and 42 troops had been killed in the offensive.

The casualty figures cannot be verified because communication lines are down and journalists and aid workers are barred from the area.

South Waziristan has been dubbed by Washington as the most dangerous place in the world because of an abundance of Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

The long-awaited assault on South Waziristan came after a spring offensive in the northwestern Swat valley. In July, the government declared the offensive a success but sporadic outbreaks of violence have continued in the valley.

The South Waziristan offensive has displaced more than 250,000 people and the United Nations has urged Pakistan to ensure safety and security of civilians during the operation.

Army brigadier, driver injured in Islamabad gun-attack

By Mohammad Asghar
Saturday, 07 Nov, 2009
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SSP Islamabad Police Tahir Malik told DawnNews that both the brigadier and his driver have been shifted to a hospital and are now in stable condition. — Photo by Reuters.

ISLAMABAD: A brigadier and his driver were injured when two men opened fire on his private car here on Friday.

The attackers escaped on a motorbike despite extensive police patrol and checkpoints in the capital.

Brig Hafiz Sohail was going to his office along with his driver Ramzan when the gunmen ambushed his car in sector I-8/4.

The car veered off the road and hit an under-construction building.

The injured men trapped in the car were pulled out and taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences where they were stated to be in stable condition.

However, the driver was operated upon and shifted to the Combined Military Hospital.

This was the third attack on an army officer in the federal capital over the past two weeks.

None of the assailants has been arrested so far.

A police official told Dawn that a gunman ambushed the car from the green belt in I-8/4 and escaped with his accomplice who was waiting for him on a motorbike.

The SP said: ‘We have found a 9mm pistol and some casings, including those of SMG, from the scene.’

One security official claimed that it was a general, not targeted, attack.

Thirteen injured in Quetta grenade blast

Saturday, 07 Nov, 2009

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Security officials survey the site of a grenade attack at Meezan Chowk in Quetta. Two children and one security man was among those injured in the attack on a checkpoint. – Reuters photo

QUETTA: Thirteen people including two children and a security personnel sustained injuries when a hand grenade exploded at Mizan Chowk, a central commercial area of the provincial capital here on Saturday evening.

According to Quetta police, militants hurled a hand grenade at a check post of Frontier Corps established in Mizan Chowk in the evening when the area was thronged by customers. As a result, thirteen people received injuries; out of them two were seriously injured.

The injured were rushed to Civil Hospital Quetta. According to doctors, the condition of two of the injured was serious while the remaining people were out of danger.

Some police officials who inspected the site after the blast, told newsmen that militants might have hurled hand grenade from the roof a building as no evidence could be found of whether they were riding a bike or were on foot.

Earlier, on the same day before noon, militants hurled a hand grenade into the premises of a girls school located near Mannu Jan Road Quetta which injured two teachers and a student. The hand grenade fell at the roof. The security officials said that a bigger loss of life might have occurred if the explosive had fallen at the site where teachers and students were present.—APP

Courtesy : DAWN, APP, AFP, REUTERS.

Thirty militants killed in South Waziristan street battles

November 4, 2009

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Thirty militants killed in South Waziristan street battles. News suppressed about the casualties of troops and civilians.

Wednesday, 04 Nov, 200904/11/09

ISLAMABAD: Troops were Wednesday locked in deadly street battles with Taliban fighters, pushing a ground offensive deeper into militant-held territory, the military said.

A senior military official told AFP the army had ‘taken’ the strategic town of Sararogha in the third week of fighting, while 30 insurgents were reported killed in the last 24 hours.

Pakistan has vowed to quash Tehrik-i-Taliban in South Waziristan, part of the border area with Afghanistan that Washington calls the most dangerous place in the world because of the abundance of Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Sararogha shot to infamy within the tribal belt as the operational centre of former Tehrik-i-Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone attack in August.

The military provides the only regular information coming from the frontlines. None of the details can be verified because communication lines are down and journalists and aid workers barred from the area.

Pakistan launched its fierce air and ground offensive into the northwest region on October 17, with some 30,000 troops backed by fighters jets and helicopter gunships laying siege to Tehrik-i-Taliban bolt-holes.

‘Today, security forces entered into the important stronghold of terrorists, the town of Ladha. Intense fighting is taking place in (the) streets,’ the military said in its daily update.

It said ‘security forces have cleared a major part’ of Sararogha, but a senior official in northwest Pakistan said the town had been captured.

So far, the military has claimed to have killed more than 390 militants since the operation began, with 45 troops losing their lives.

The long-anticipated assault into South Waziristan came after a spring offensive in and around the northwestern Swat valley, which the government declared a success in July. However, sporadic outbreaks of violence continue.

Militants kill two women teachers in Bajaur: officials

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KHAR: Two women school teachers were killed Wednesday when armed militants ambushed their car in Pakistan’s troubled tribal region bordering Afghanistan, local officials said.

The women were travelling from the school they taught at in Khar — the main town in the northwestern tribal district of Bajaur — when insurgents bearing automatic weapons sprayed the vehicle with bullets.

‘Two women teachers were killed and two men were injured in the firing by militants,’ administration official Adalat Khan told AFP. Tribal police confirmed the incident.

Insurgents who oppose the education of girls have bombed and destroyed hundreds of northwestern schools in recent years.

Militants have recently stepped up activity in Bajaur, one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts straddling the Afghan border, which are considered a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaida-linked extremists.

Officials warned that the Taliban and their allies were increasing attacks in areas such as Bajaur to divert attention away from South Waziristan, the Taliban bastion where the military is conducting a major ground offensive.

A similar military assault in Bajaur starting in August 2008 ended in February with the army claiming success. But militant violence continues to rock the area.

Hundreds of extremists are believed to have fled into Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal areas to carve out safe havens after the ouster of Afghanistan’s hardline Taliban regime in a US-led invasion in 2001.— AFP

Courtsey : Dawn News, AFP, AP.

Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Turkey united against terrorism

October 24, 2009

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Tackling Terrorism in Indian Sub-continent.

Friday, 23 Oct, 2009||www.dawn.com

updated on 26 Oct, 2009|| www.thenews.com.pk

UNITED NATIONS: In an unprecedented joint appearance on American television Thursday, UN ambassadors of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India said their governments have the same goal – to defeat terrorism. indian pm26india1Karz460x276pakistan pm

‘We all come from the same crucible, the same history, the same background,’ Abdullah Hussain Haroon, the Pakistani ambassador to the UN, told CNN.

‘There may be minor differences of course but I think all three of us are well-intentioned.’ In comments echoed by the other ambassadors, Haroon added, ‘We all believe that these countries should get together and try and sort out this situation.’ The efforts of all, he said, are required ‘to help each other get through this difficult phase.’

The channel interviewed the ambassadors amid worsening violence in Afghanistan, an intense debate in the United States about troop levels there, a Pakistani military offensive against the Taliban after a string of terrorist attacks, and India still reeling from the assault on Mumbai almost one year ago.

The Indian ambassador to the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri, said that India was very restrained after the Mumbai attack, and that its restraint would continue.

‘There is no suggestion ever that a diversion of Pakistani military assets from one border to the other to fight the people who really need to be fought would result in any Indian adventurism, he said. ‘I don’t think that’s the kind of ambiance that we are presently in.’ Haroon said.

Pakistan’s armed forces are very stretched by the offensives against the Taliban. He said they are short of resources, in part because Western countries have failed to deliver on all their promises of aid. ‘I think that the Pakistanis feel there are too many caveats, too many conditions, and it does make it sound rather strange that aid is nowhere near the sort of $5 billion to $10 billion we need a year to be able to come back on our own,’ he said.

‘This is merely adding a crutch. Is that what we need at this time, a crutch? Or do we need something more promising?’ Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan tried to persuade those Americans who are skeptical that they should continue supporting the war in his country.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll this week showed voters are deeply and evenly split over whether to send an additional 40,000 troops there, as the US commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, says is needed.

‘Nowadays, after these elections, I think both the leadership in Afghanistan and our friends and partners focused on how the new elections will bring more legitimacy to Afghanistan. So we are not against that debate,’ he said, referencing the runoff that will take place on November 7 between President Hamid Karzai and his main challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

All three ambassadors said it is vital that the United States send more troops to Afghanistan to help win the fight against terrorism.

Puri, the Indian ambassador, said, ‘You cannot have a fight against international terrorism which is compartmentalized. The snakes that bite us wherever come from the same pit.’

He added: ‘You cannot do Faustian deals with terrorist groups, so I think you need a comprehensive international movement against the terrorists, and I hope that all of us who are involved in this will carry this fight through until the end so that all of us are victors in this.’ –APP

Turkish PM for joint struggle to stamp out terrorism

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Updated at: 1720 PST, Monday, October 26, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday stressed the need for putting up a joint struggle against the scourge of terrorism and extremism.

Delivering a historic address to the joint session of Pakistani Parliament, the Turkish PM said Turkey understands the challenges and problems being faced by the people of Pakistan. “Turkey stands with Pakistan in the war against terror,” the Turkish PM said.

The Turkish PM’s speech at the joint session of the Parliament is a first ever address made by any foreign diplomat.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, senior military officials including Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and members of parliament attended today’s session.

The first lady of Turkey was also present along with the Turkish diplomats.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was not only the great leader of Pakistan but also of the entire world. When Ms Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, the members of Turkish parliament representing all the political parties of the country expressed grief, he added.

He described the relations shared between Pakistan and Turkey as extraordinary.

“Pakistan holds a special place in the hearts of Turkish people right from the day the former became independent 62 years ago,” the Turkish PM said, adding “the Turkish people still remember the freedom movement spearheaded by Jauhar brothers.”

Terror, terror everywhere

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Posted by Asif Akhtar in Pakistan, Politics on 10 23rd, 2009

The coordinated attacks on security infrastructure which went on for a week gave Pakistan a real taste of an insurgent backlash to violent conflict. Over the weekend, amidst security threats to educational institutions, ranging from schools to universities, the media speculated over whether these would close down in order to avoid an ugly hostage situation. There seemed to be some confusion on Monday morning, with headlines claiming that all private schools would remain open in Lahore, ‘including those in cantonment and DHA.’ But by night time, the government had done a 180, announcing that in fact schools across the country would remain closed for the entire week. Though I’m sure no student would complain about a week-long vacation, these mild, curfew-like restrictions suggest that this is the point when the country’s internal conflict gets a little too close for comfort to everyday life, instead of just being something you watch on the television screen.

It was City 42, a news channel, that reported that LUMS (yes, I dare mention LUMS, after all that) would shut down after the blasts at IIU in Islamabad, making the administration’s still-pending decision a self-fulfilling prophecy after students assumed the news to be true. LUMS students were upbeat however, knowing that they had no readings, quizzes, or assignments due. ‘They [the students] don’t care about theses security issues,’ says Haider Fancy, a senior at LUMS. ‘They just want to get the next week off, and not have to go to class, that’s all they care about.’ But not everyone can be so detached.  ‘These freshmen are crazy,’ exclaims a slightly more concerned senior, ‘with all this security mess, they’re out on campus celebrating.’

The warden at the female hostel of Beaconhouse National University seemed to be way ahead of the game than the wobbly policies of the LUMS administration. Students living at the hostel claim that the warden had been calling parents up and ‘freaking them out,’ in a sort of polite way to inform concerned parents that ‘they’ were responsible for their daughters’ safety, and not the entrusted hostel administration. As early as last weekend, many hostel residing students got concerned calls from parents all over Pakistan, worried for their children’s safety. Indeed, it seems this sensational propaganda laden ‘war of terror’ has gotten to our nerves.

LUMS students received a security update on their lively email server, warning students that terrorists ‘could take control of their cars’ and use them to execute attacks. If that doesn’t get you a little edgy, the government has been investigating text messages claiming that terrorists might be able to hack into an unsuspected caller’s phone so that when he presses a key to dial a number he detonates a bomb which could bring down a building. (On a side note, wouldn’t everyone agree that the scene would make a great ad for a cell phone provider? The voiceover could say, ‘Now introducing new explosive pre-paid packages, which might put your security, and the security of others around you at risk’ over the backdrop of a three-way split-screen conversation between a man, his wife, and… a terrorist!)

So  with all this news of evil, scheming terrorists taking control of strange foreign objects through these ‘Jedi mind-tricks’ which they seem to have mastered in the past few months, I’m afraid of using the lota in my bathroom because it just might be used to launch an attack on some unsuspecting target. Oh what shall we do? Now as a nation we’ll have to conform to the toilet-paper scraping ways of the West. Oh will the Lord finally intervene? read more…….

Courtsey : Dawn, AFP, AP. 

Operation is Over. Thirty-nine rescued as GHQ siege comes to end. Another Terrorist Attack Awaited ?

October 11, 2009

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Thirty-nine rescued as GHQ siege comes to end

RAWALPINDI: Commandos stormed Pakistan army’s headquarters on Sunday ending a day-long hostage drama and freeing 39 people held by militants who brazenly struck at the heart of the military establishment.

Three hostages, two soldiers and four suspected Taliban militants were killed in a rescue operation hailed by the military as ‘highly successful’, despite a total of 19 people dead since the start of the assault.

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Six soldiers and four other militants had already been killed in the nearly 24-hour siege, which began Saturday in the garrison city of Rawalpindi and was the third dramatic militant strike in the country in a week.

The audacious attack exposed Pakistan’s vulnerability in the face of a Taliban militia who have regrouped after the death of their leader and are determined to thwart an army assault on their tribal hideouts, analysts said.

Military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said troops went in at about 6:00 am and met resistance from five militants armed with suicide vests and barricaded in the building in the city, which adjoins Islamabad.

‘Thirty-nine hostages were rescued and three were killed,’ Abbas told AFP, adding that the captives were shot dead by the militants.

‘The militants had suicide jackets, improvised explosive devices, grenades…. They wanted to blow up all the hostages and cause maximum damage.’

He said that two soldiers and four of the insurgents were killed in the rescue operation.

e1d72a60e87a17a1ef01421bd0de3dd8The leader of the militant team escaped and detonated a number of explosives, before being injured and arrested.

‘The operation is over. It was highly successful,’ Abbas added.

He said that intelligence officials were investigating possible links between the sole surviving militant – named as Aqeel, also known as Doctor Usman – and the March attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.

The Rawalpindi attack bore similarities to the March gun-and-grenade attack, which left six policemen and two civilians dead. Abbas said the militant held Sunday had the same name and alias as one of the Lahore attack suspects.

The drama began just before midday on Saturday, when nine gunmen in military uniform and armed with automatic weapons and grenades drove up to the Rawalpindi compound and shot their way through a checkpoint.

Four militants and six soldiers were killed near a second post but the rest of the rebels fled and took the 42 military employees hostage.

There has been no claim of responsibility, but military and government officials blamed Taliban-linked militants.

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Defence analyst Hasan Askari said the militant strikes showed the army had not broken the back of the Taliban, as they claim.

‘This shows weaknesses in the security arrangements of the state agencies and the determination and commitment of the extremist Taliban,’ he told AFP.

Courtsey :~ Dawn,  AFP  &  APP.