Posts Tagged ‘Swat’

Islam vs Islam :: Tragedy in Pakistan

November 27, 2009

Anti-Taliban leader killed in Mohmand bomb attack

Shahpoor Khan led a tribal militia against Taliban insurgents in the Mohmand district of Bajaur. —AFP/File Photo

KHAR, Friday, 27 Nov, 2009: Pakistani troops killed 30 militants in the country’s lawless tribal region where a key anti-Taliban leader was assassinated in a bomb attack on Friday, officials said.

The deadly clashes were reported by the military as part of offensives against Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan and militants in Khyber.

‘Security forces cleared Narakai after stiff resistance…. Fifteen terrorists were killed and one soldier was injured,’ said a statement issued by the army.

Earlier a paramilitary Frontier Corps statement said troops backed by helicopter gunships had killed 15 militants in a new operation in Khyber, which lies on the main Nato supply route to Afghanistan outside Peshawar.

Soldiers from the Pakistani army and paramilitary Frontier Corps mounted the operation three days ago to crack down on militants, some of whom have attacked convoys supplying foreign troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Military spokesman Major Fazlur Rehman told AFP that three helicopter gunships pounded rebel positions and 200 soldiers took part.

The details could not be confirmed independently due to a lack of independent access to the battlefields by journalists.

Anti-Taliban Leader Killed

Further north, Shahpoor Khan, a key anti-Taliban leader and an ally of Pakistan’s embattled authorities in the district of Bajaur was killed Friday as he returned home after saying prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

The roadside bomb in the town of Badan, also in Pakistan’s tribal belt and part of the mountainous area that US officials call a headquarters for Al-Qaida, killed Khan and wounded three others.

‘The tribal leader was killed on the spot and his colleagues were seriously wounded in the blast,’ said local administration chief Jamil Khan.

Eid officially begins in Pakistan on Saturday but began in Afghanistan on Friday and some people in Bajaur celebrated the start of the Muslim festival of sacrifice on Friday.

Khan’s predecessor, Malik Rehmatullah, was killed in a suicide attack last year in Bajaur.

Officials say the militants aim to distract the army from the US-endorsed air and ground assault against home grown Taliban in their heartlands.

Security has drastically deteriorated in Pakistan since Islamabad joined the US-led ‘War on Terror’ and hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaida-linked militants fled into the tribal belt after the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

Pakistan has fought repeated offensives in the area and around 2,000 troops have died in battle against Taliban and Al-Qaida-linked militants since 2002.

Although there has been resistance in South Waziristan, many officials and analysts believe most of the estimated 10,000 Taliban guerrillas in the district have escaped into neighbouring Orakzai and North Waziristan.

The South Waziristan offensive has also seen a surge in suicide attacks targeting civilians and security officials in Peshawar, a sprawling city of 2.5 million on the edge of the tribal belt.

The United States has welcomed Pakistan’s military efforts but is reportedly pressuring the civilian government to also counter militants on Pakistani soil who attack Nato and US troops across the border in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama, who has put Pakistan on the frontline of the war on Al-Qaida, is expected to order more than 30,000 additional American troops into battle in Afghanistan when he unveils a new strategy next week.

Pakistan has warned that the decision could destabilise its southwestern province of Baluchistan, where the Taliban have a presence and separatist insurgents rose up in 2004. — AFP

New anti Taliban force launched by public

Supporters of Afzal Khan Lala assembled at the Frontier Constabulary’s base camp in Dreshkhella where hundreds of people registered themselves as volunteers. — File photo

Hundreds join Swat’s anti-militant lashkar

By Hameedullah Khan , Sunday, 27 Sep, 2009|| updated on 27 Nov, 2009|| http://www.dawn.com

MINGORA: Hundreds of armed volunteers joined a lashkar under the command of veteran politician and former federal minister Mohammad Afzal Khan Lala in Matta tehsil of Swat on Saturday.

District Nazim Jamal Nasir also raised lashkar against militants and started patrolling in their respective areas. Witnesses said that hundreds of people brandishing heavy weapons assembled in Matta chanting slogans: Pakistan Zinda Bad and long live Swatis, resolving to fight against terrorists.

Supporters of Afzal Khan Lala, also a leader of the ruling Awami National Party, assembled at the Frontier Constabulary’s base camp in Dreshkhella where hundreds of people registered themselves as volunteers.

Provincial minister for science and technology Ayub Ashari, operation commander Brig Jamal Abdul Nasir and elders of the area addressed the volunteers.

‘Restoration of peace in Swat is like new life for the residents of the valley who lived in barbaric environment and under tyranny for three years,’ said Afzal Khan, adding that terrorists slaughtered sons in the presence of their parents and trained children as suicide bombers.

He said that people of Swat had suffered physically, socially and economically.

He said that militants had destroyed schools, hospitals, roads, agriculture, industrial sectors and infrastructure in the valley.

People of Swat and soldiers had rendered sacrifices for restoration of peace.

He said that the army and local people would jointly reconstruct Swat.

Some 3,000 people assembled at the residence of District Nazim Jamal Nasir in Shangotai who joined the lashkar. Participants of the lashkar displayed weapons and expressed solidarity with the military in fight against militants.

Meanwhile, seven militants including Commander Abdul Sattar were killed in operation Rah-i-Rast in Ser Taligram and Manglawar areas of Swat.

Officials said that 20 militants also surrendered and detected three tunnels in Chaperyal.

The ISPR said that one of the tunnels was seven meters long.

Taliban Revenge :: Militants attack anti-Taliban mayor in northwest Pakistan

November 15, 2009

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A security guard stands near the bodies of three men, who were shot dead earlier by local guards keeping security in the Bazid Khel area of Peshawar on November 15, 2009. — Reuters

Militants attack anti-Taliban mayor in northwest Pakistan

DawnNews Report
Sunday, 15 Nov, 2009

PESHAWAR: More than a dozen militants opened fire on the house of an anti-Taliban mayor in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, but security guards repelled the attack, killing three assailants, said police.

Militants have staged a wave off attacks in northwestern Pakistan in recent weeks in retaliation for an army offensive launched last month in the tribal area of South Waziristan, where al-Qaida and Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding.

Several of the militants who attacked Mayor Mohammad Fahim Khan’s house disguised themselves by donning burqas, said police official Nabi Shah.

‘Seeing three burqa-clad women early in the morning, Fahim Khan’s security guards challenged them, and the men threw away their disguise and opened fire,’ said Shah.

‘But the guards were alert and they retaliated quickly.’

The guards killed three militants and waged a gunbattle with the rest, but they managed to escape, said Shah.

Khan was the second mayor to be attacked in the last week who has organised a local militia to fight against the Taliban. A suicide bomber hit a crowded market outside the main northwestern city of Peshawar last Sunday, killing 12 people, including a mayor who once supported but turned against the Taliban.

Militants have made several attempts to assassinate Khan, who is the mayor of Bazid Khel town, some 10 miles south Peshawar.

‘Militants have exploded three bombs near my house, killing innocent people, and they have opened fire on me several times but have failed so far,’ said Khan. ‘These attacks will not weaken my resolve against militants.’

The recent wave of attacks has killed hundreds since the beginning of October. The insurgents appear to believe the violence will weaken the determination of both the people and the government to counter the rising militant threat.

Many attacks have targeted areas in and around Peshawar, which borders Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region where the army is fighting its offensive. Strikes in the past week alone have killed more than 50 people, including 11 who died Saturday when a suicide car bomber attacked a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Peshawar.

A day earlier, another suicide car bomber attacked the regional office of Pakistan’s top intelligence agency in Peshawar, killing 10 people.

# Pashta Khara: Geo News receives suicide blast footage see details.

# At least 17 militants killed in South Waziristan, Swat see details.

Heavy Fight between Pak Military and Taliban Militants. Tribal People made Resistance against Talibans.

June 17, 2009

Clashes kill 28 Taliban in Upper Dir, Swat

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Tribesman in Upper Dir formed a tribal lashkar in response to the bombing of a mosque in the area. — Reuters (File Photo)

Wednesday, 17 Jun, 2009 | 04:25 PM PST | www.dawn.com

ISLAMABAD: Tribesman seeking to avenge a deadly mosque bombing killed six Taliban, while 22 suspected militants died in an ongoing military offensive, the army and police said.

Pakistan’s security forces are locked in a seven-week battle to expel militants from three northwest districts, a push informally joined by thousands of local tribesman in Upper Dir district this month.

As many as 3,000 villagers took up arms in early June, forming a militia — known locally as a lashkar — after 38 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a mosque in the district, which was blamed on the Taliban.

‘According to information we received, the tribal lashkar have killed six Taliban and destroyed their hideouts,’ Ijaz Ahmad, district police chief in Upper Dir, told AFP by telephone.

‘Some 3,000 armed tribesmen calling themselves tribal lashkar have launched an operation in the area. A total of 25 militants have been killed so far while some 12 to 13 were wounded in the tribal offensive,’ he added.

Local residents said about 20 militant hideouts have been destroyed and dozens of houses demolished during the ten-day revenge campaign, with Taliban fighters currently surrounded on a mountaintop in the Ghazigai area.

The government has in the past encouraged the formation of lashkar to help the official armed forces in their fight against militants, and say they want to build up and arm such community forces in the northwest.

The military launched its northwest push after the Taliban advanced to within 100 kilometres of Islamabad in early April, violating a deal to put three million people under sharia law in exchange for peace.

In a statement Wednesday, the army said they had killed 20 suspected militants in the last 24 hours in Lower Dir, while two more — including a militant commander — were killed in Swat district.

‘Elders of the area have decided and volunteered to organise defence committees for guarding against resurgence of terrorists,’ it said.

Pakistan’s army claims to have killed about 1,475 insurgents since the campaign began, however their tolls are impossible to verify independently.

The offensive enjoys broad popular support among Pakistanis exasperated by worsening Taliban-linked attacks, which have killed more than 1,995 people since July 2007.

 

It is the harder time for Pakistan to fight against its own Terrorists than India.

May 24, 2009

Pakistan army ‘in Taliban city’

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8065062.stm

           
 
Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 14:48 UK
Pakistan army ‘in Taliban city’
 _45813270_mingora_ap203bodyHundreds of thousands of civilians have fled the fighting in the north-east

Fierce fighting is taking place between Pakistani troops and Taliban militants in Mingora, the main city in the militant-controlled Swat Valley.

At least 17 militants have been killed in the clashes, the army says. The Taliban deny the deaths.

The push into Mingora is seen as a key phase of an offensive aimed at crushing the militants, whose influence extends across a wide area of the north-west.

The fighting began after a peace deal broke down earlier this month.

See a map of the region

“Street fights have begun,” Maj Gen Athar Abbas told reporters.

“It is a difficult operation because we have to make a house-to-house search. We have cleared some of the area in the city.”

The military says the city is surrounded, most of the militants’ ammunition dumps are destroyed and their supply routes cut off.

The BBC’s Shoaib Hassan, in Islamabad, says it is the most important battle yet in the army’s offensive against the Taliban in Swat.

A swift victory would bolster public support for a greater fight against the militants, our correspondent adds.

Exodus

A Taliban spokesman confirmed that the military had entered Mingora, but denied that any militants had been killed.

 _45813805_007369373-2The army says it has cut off the militants’ supply routes

The spokesman also said the Taliban would fight the security forces to their last breath.

Residents say the militants are still in control of the city.

Nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced by this month’s fighting in the north-western region, and about two million since last August, the United Nations refugee agency says.

On Friday, the UN appealed for $543m in humanitarian aid to help those displaced by the conflict.

Pakistan’s army began an offensive against the Taliban on 2 May after the peace deal broke down and the militants began expanding their area of influence.

A recent investigation by the BBC suggested that less than half of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP), which contains Swat Valley, and the neighbouring Federally Administered Tribal Areas is under full government control.

In Swat, the army says that about 15,000 members of the security forces are fighting between 4,000 and 5,000 militants.

It says more than 1,000 militants and more than 50 soldiers have been killed since the offensive began.

 _45745424_pak_taleban_movements4_466

 
PAKISTAN IN TURMOIL

MILITANCY

Conflict map

BBC mapshows Taliban extending control in north-west
Tide turns against Taliban

Journey to ‘war zone’

Sea of humanity

Struggling for survival in Swat

Hotspot confusion

Plight of Pakistan’s displaced

Shaky Sharia deal

Hunt for culprits of cricket attack

ANALYSIS AND BACKGROUND

Q&A: Pakistan’s Swat offensive

Q&A: Pakistan’s political instability

Clouded details of Pakistan deal

Mapping the militant nexus

Q&A: Kashmir dispute

Courtesy: BBC World News

 

                                     

More than 40,000 flee in violence in Swat, Terrorism still overwhelms. Piont to point gunbattle in Buner & Lower Dir.

May 6, 2009

More than 40,000 flee as violence outbreaks  in Swat

flee_325

Hundreds have already fled the Swat Valley as fighting between army troops and Taliban militants has intensified.—AP/File

Wednesday, 06 May, 2009 | 12:16 PM PST |http://www.dawn.com

PESHAWAR: More than 40,000 civilians have fled deadly clashes in Pakistan’s Swat valley, officials said Wednesday.

Deadly clashes flared again overnight in Mingora, the main town in Swat, the one-time ski resort where local officials said armed Taliban have defied curfews and occupied government buildings, making a mockery of the peace deal.

Witnesses said ‘large numbers’ of residents fled in panic, although the military swiftly withdrew its evacuation order — saying the government was not ready to authorise an offensive.

‘We have now suspended this order and people are directed not to vacate their homes because the government has no immediate plan to launch an operation in these areas,’ said local military spokesman Major Nasir Khan.

The provincial government said it was scrambling to shelter up to 500,000 people they expect to flee Swat and local officials confirmed Wednesday that tens of thousands had streamed out of the district in less than 24 hours.

‘More than 40,000 have migrated from Mingora since Tuesday afternoon,’ said Khushhal Khan, the chief administration officer in Swat.

‘An exodus of more than 40,000 people is the minimum number — it should actually be more than 50,000,’ said an intelligence official.

Khan said a camp had been set up for the displaced in the nearby town of Dargai.

He said security forces could soon attack the militants and urged people to get out of harm’s way. But he later said the fear of fighting had passed and people could stay home, while the army said it was in control of the town.

Bedraggled men, veiled women and children piled onto pick-up trucks and led animals through streets in their haste to flee Swat, devastated by a nearly two-year Taliban insurgency to impose sharia.

‘I don’t want my unborn baby to have even the slightest idea what suicide attacks and bomb blasts are. That’s why I’m leaving Mingora with my husband,’ said a sobbing and heavily pregnant Bakht Zehra.

‘For God’s sake tell me where I can bring up my child where there are no suicide attacks,’ she cried.

‘Zehra and I had a love marriage. I don’t want to die. I want to live for my wife and my baby,’ said her 25-year-old husband, Adnan Ahmad, who had a mobile phone shop in Mingora and is studying for a degree in English literature.

‘We are leaving the area to save our lives,’ said Sayed Iqbal, a 35-year-old cloth merchant who was putting household goods in a pick-up already loaded with his elderly parents, wife and two children.

‘I’m taking my family to Peshawar because if there’s any fighting, no one can protect us,’ said Mohammad Karim, as he searched for a bus heading out of the valley to Peshawar.

Pakistan’s military has been pressing a fierce offensive in neighbouring districts of Swat, where armed militants advanced despite the February deal, raising expectations of a renewed operation in Swat itself.

Panic and confusion spread through Mingora on Tuesday after the military issued — but then swiftly withdrew — an evacuation order, and clashes between security forces and the militants broke out.

Khan said Taliban militants overnight seized control of several buildings and that four civilians were killed in the town — three in a mortar attack and one shot dead by security forces.

‘They are patrolling in the streets in Mingora and occupying many official buildings, including a police station and a commissioner’s office, which houses offices of top police and administration officials in Saidu Sharif,’ he said, adding that the militants were also laying mines.

Local police said Wednesday that the militants had vacated the buildings and dispersed into the mountains, similar to rugged terrain in neighbouring districts where they are fighting guerrilla-style against the military.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said the militants were in control of ‘90 per cent’ of the valley and said their actions were in response to army violations of the peace deal such as attacking insurgents and boosting troop numbers in the region.

He accused the government of acting under pressure from the US. ‘Everything will be OK once our rulers stop bowing before America,’ he told The Associated Press by phone, adding the peace deal had ‘been dead’ since the operation in Buner.

 

Security forces kill 64 militants in Swat, Buner

 

pak-army__ap608

 

Clashes in Swat killed 37 militants while at least 27 Taliban fighters were killed in the nearby Buner district. — AP

 

Wednesday, 06 May, 2009 | 05:51 PM PST |http://www.dawn.com

 

PESHAWAR: Sixty-four militants were killed on Wednesday in fighting in northwest Pakistan’s Buner and Swat districts, security forces said.

The army said 37 militants were killed in two clashes in Swat, where a peace deal aimed at ending Taliban violence has collapsed.

Officials claim Taliban militants placed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on some of the main roads to inflict casualties on people and to impede the security forces’ movement. At least two soldiers died when they hit an IED in Swat’s Bahrain area.

The militants also fired at various check posts of security forces in Kanju, Saidu Sharif, Matta and other areas of Swat, the military said.

At least 27 militants were also killed in the nearby Buner district, the Frontier Corps said in a statement.

Clashes in Swat erupted between security forces and militants on Wednesday near an emerald mine in Mingora held by the Taliban, leaving 37 militants and 35 civilians dead, official sources told DawnNews. Militants also set two private banks on fire after looting them, the sources said.

‘There were 35 militants killed in the area near the emerald mines,’ Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Athar Abbas told AFP.

‘It was a responsive action after militants attacked troops and government buildings,’ he added.

A major military offensive is likely to begin in Swat shortly with the army ready to push back militants. Gunship helicopters were already pounding militant hideouts in the district’s Mingora city, DawnNews reported.

Reinforcements have already been deployed in the valley, according to local citizens, prompting speculation that action is imminent.

Armed militants have come down from their hideouts into the cities and have occupied civilians’ houses and government buildings, military and local sources said.

On Tuesday, thousands of residents fled Swat following a government request to evacuate the area in preparation for a fresh offensive against Taliban militants.

‘More than 40,000 have migrated from Mingora since Tuesday afternoon,’ said Khushhal Khan, the chief administration officer in Swat.

The February peace deal lies in tatters, and militants have captured several important government buildings in Mingora, 80 miles northwest of Islamabad, and have taken up positions on rooftops, Reuters said.

DawnNews quoted residents as saying that the Taliban are stopping people from leaving the valley and intend to use them as human shields.

Reuters reported some residents of Mingora saying they faced dwindling supplies of food and were desperate to get out.

‘We are very scared. We want to go as soon as possible but can’t because of curfew,’ said grocery shop worker Gul Nazir.

‘We’re running out of food. We don’t know what to do.’

Operation in Buner kills another 27 militants

Pakistani artillery bombarded militant positions in Pir Baba and Sultanwas areas of Buner district, 60 miles northwest of Islamabad, on Wednesday, killing 27 militants and destroying eight vehicles, military sources and Frontier Corps were quoted as saying.

‘Today artillery engaged militant locations at Pir Baba Ziarat and Sultanwas areas. About 27 militants got killed and eight vehicles got destroyed,’ the Frontier Corps said in a statement.

Militants fired rockets at a girls’ school in Sultanwas which partially damaged the school building, the ISPR said.

On April 28, Pakistan launched an offensive in Buner to flush out advancing armed Taliban fighters.

More than 200 militants have been killed in the operation, official sources said. However, it has not been possible to confirm death tolls independently, as the terrain is remote and largely cut off.

Lower Dir

The operation against militants in Lower Dir is progressing smoothly, the military was quoted by DawnNews as saying.

Search and cordon operations continued Wednesday in various areas of Lower Dir.

Courtsey : The Dawn, Pakistan.