Posts Tagged ‘Pakistani Taliban’

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.

Highest ever ground kidnapping by the Islamists in Pakistan at a time.

May 15, 2010

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

Islamic Militants kidnap 60 in Kurram tribal in northwestern region of Pakistan

Sat, 15 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 30, 1431

PARACHINAR: Some suspected militants dressed as policemen kidnapped about 60 people in troubled northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border on Saturday, government and police officials said.

Heavily armed militants 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, several vehicles were seized from a convoy of civilians travelling to Parachinar, the main city in Kurram.

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 Thal.

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

The Pakistani military has mounted offensives against militants in their strongholds in the northwest over the past year, largely clearing several areas, killing hundreds of militants and destroying their bases.

A large number of militants, officials say, have fled to Kurram and neighbouring regions after the military launched a major operation against them in their South Waziristan bastion near the Afghan border in mid-October last year.

Security forces have intensified air strikes on militant targets in Kurram and adjoining areas in recent weeks.

The militants have shown resilience and carried out a wave of suicide and bomb attacks, mainly in the northwest, killing hundreds of people.

Now it is believed that the kidnapper Islamist group will bargain with the Local Govt. to free other militants already put into jail for years. The militants will kill these abducted tribal men one after another if their ( militant’s) demands are not fulfilled. The situation is not under the control as the police told the reporters.

Input and Courtesy : Reuters and Agencies.

Suicide bomber kills again five in Swat :: Swat is no safe to the tourists anyway.

May 1, 2010

Scenic Swat Valley, once a tourist hub, has witnessed a spate of killings of tribal elders in the past few weeks. — Photo by AFP

Suicide bomber kills five in Swat

Sat, 01 May, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 17, 1431

MINGORA: Suicide bomber killed five people in Swat Valley on Saturday, police said, fuelling fears of a Taliban comeback in the area a year after a major army offensive routed the group.

Pakistan says a series of security crackdowns that began in Swat hurt militants fighting to topple the government.

Renewed violence in Swat over the last few weeks has raised concerns that militants are regrouping in the area while the army tries to consolidate gains in other parts of the northwest and return displaced people to their homes.

Saturday’s attacker blew himself up in a hostel after being surrounded by government forces near Sohrab Khan market in the town of Mingora, 130 km (80 miles) northwest of the capital Islamabad, Swat police chief Qazi Ghulam Farooq told Reuters.

He said the bomber killed himself, three civilians and two militants who had been apprehended and lead government forces to the location. Another militant was shot dead by security forces in a raid at the site.

“The Taliban may be trying to come back. But there is no way we will allow it. We will catch them everywhere,” Farooq said.—Reuters

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP and Reuters.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claim Karachi bombing. This is nothing but the Peace Bombing of Islam.

December 30, 2009

Vehicles are on fire after a bombing struck a Shia procession in Karachi, December 28, 2009. — AP Photo

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claim Karachi bombing

Wed, 30 Dec, 2009 | Muharram 12, 1431

KARACHI: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the most active Taliban militant group in Pakistan on Wednesday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 43 people in Karachi, and threatened more attacks.

“My group claims responsibility for the Karachi attack and we will carry out more such attacks, within 10 days,” Asmatullah Shaheen, one of the commanders of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, who spoke by telephone to a Reuters reporter in Peshawar.

The prospect of more violence comes at a tough time for embattled President Asif Ali Zardari. He already faces political pressure because corruption charges against some of his aides may be revived.

And Zardari has yet to formulate a more effective strategy against the Pakistani Taliban, despite relentless pressure from Washington, which wants his government to root out militants who cross over to attack US and Nato-led forces in Afghanistan and then return to their Pakistan strongholds.

The scale of his challenges was clear on Monday, when a suicide bomber defied heavy security around a Shia procession, killing 43 people and triggering riots.

In a sign of mounting frustrations, Pakistani religious and political leaders called for a strike for Friday to condemn that attack, one of the worst in Karachi since 2007.

The bloodshed illustrated how the Taliban, whose strongholds are in the lawless northwest, have extended their reach to major cities in their drive to topple the government.

“The bombing itself was bad enough, but the violence that immediately erupted was also very well planned,” said Sunni scholar Mufti Muneebur Rehman, who blamed Pakistani authorities for the chaos.

“We want the government not only to compensate those killed in the attacks, but also those who lost their livelihoods, and so we are calling for a complete strike on Friday,” he said.

The Taliban campaign and their hardline brand of Islam — which involves public hangings and whippings of anyone who disobeys them — angered many Pakistanis.
But the Karachi bomb suggested growing violence has raised suspicions of Pakistan’s government.

“The government is using the Taliban as an excuse for everything that is happening anywhere in the country,” said Noman Ahmed, who works for a Karachi clearing agency.

“The organised way that all this is being done clearly shows that the terrorists are being sponsored either by the government itself or some other state that wants to destabilise Pakistan.”

Security policy

Pakistan’s all-powerful military sets security policy. So the key gauge of public confidence may be how the army’s performance is viewed. In the 1980s, Pakistan’s army nurtured militant groups who fought Soviet occupation troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban emerged in the 1990’s after a civil war in Afghanistan.

Now Pakistan’s army faces home-grown militants.

“I don’t buy that foreign hands are involved (in the Karachi attack). They’re domestic elements. They’re those who were nurtured, trained and protected in late 1990s,” said Sajid Ali Naqvi, head of the influential Shias’ Islami Tehrik movement.

The bombing was one of the bloodiest in Karachi since an October 2007 attack on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on her return to the country that killed at least 139 people.

Shia leaders, as well as Karachi’s dominant Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party, backed the strike call, which could bring the teeming city of 18 million to a standstill.

The high-profile bloodshed had all the hallmarks of the Taliban, who often bomb crowded areas to inflict maximum casualties. The blast led some Pakistanis to conclude that several hands must have been involved.

“The Taliban, or whoever is behind this, cannot do it without the support of a government,” said Shahid Mahmood, whose perfume and watch shops were torched in the riots.

“They know that Karachi is the heart of Pakistan and if it goes down, the country will go down.”

It is reported that 07 minors participating in the Shia procession in Karachi were killed in the blast on 28.12.2009. A Human Right Watch source said the number of juvenile victims crossed 230 marks in 2009 Pakistan, killing 100 minors and disabling more than 130 others with permanent injuries as a mark of peace in Pakistan.

Courtesy : Dawn, Pakistan Human Rights Chapter for Peace (PHRCP).