Posts Tagged ‘Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’

Friday blast again rocks Karachi. 17 killed, 100 injured, mosque badly damaged. Arrest of banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militants may cause revenge.

November 12, 2010

Bomb and gun attack rocks Karachi: Tehrik-i-Taliban claims responsibility

Friday 12th November 2010 | Zilhaj 5, 1431 

KARACHI: At least 17 people were killed and over 100 injured in a massive bombing that was preceded by a shootout and grenade attack at the Crime Investigation Department (CID) offices in Civil Lines on Thursday night.

Among the dead was a woman from an adjoining neighbourhood, policemen posted in the CID and some personnel of the Frontier Constabulary deployed at a security post at the entrance of the offices located on the Beaumont Road.

The blast took place at around 8.20pm in what is supposed to be a most secure area of the city, at a walking distance from the Chief Minister’s House and two five-star hotels located on the Club Road.

Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza, who was among the first to reach the scene, said that the blast bore resemblance to Islamabad’s Marriott hotel blast of 2008.

Soon after the blast, the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility.

“Five or six attackers took out the guards present at the main entrance of the CID offices. One of them went inside the raised barrier and opened the gate. Meanwhile, policemen who were in the building opened retaliatory fire and the attackers rammed an explosives-laden truck of medium size into the second gate of the building,” a CID official told Dawn.

The structure, especially residential quarters located across the road and around the CID offices, were also razed to the ground by the impact of the blast, killing and wounding many residents.

The blast left a crater over 15 feet deep and 30 feet across.

“I ran for safety inside the offices after hearing what appeared to be a shootout between two sides. It lasted 10 to 15 minutes, during which a small explosion also took place, and was followed by a massive blast”, said Abdul Razzaq, a labourer who was doing a paint job at the home of SP Naeem Shaikh, which caved in after the explosion.

A mosque located inside the premises of the offices was badly damaged.

An official of the Special Investigation Group (SIG) said the quantity of explosives used in the blast was less than that used in the blast in Islamabad on Sept 20, 2008, but more than the Lahore blast of May 27 last year.

He estimated about 1,000kgs of explosives were packed into the truck.

He said the vehicle used in the attack could carry a maximum of 2,000kgs of load, but the explosives must have been camouflaged.

SSP Raja Umar Khattab, citing initial information, said the attackers had used a Shezore pick-up.

He said there was no restriction on movement of such truck at the place because a multi-storey building was being constructed in front of the CID offices.

A CID officer, who didn’t want to be named, said a lock-up had been damaged, but there was no suspect in it at the time.

Saddar SSP Javed Akbar Riaz told Dawn that the attackers might have used the M.T. Khan Road and turned towards the Beaumont Road leading to the CID offices, to avoid the PIDC traffic signal.

CCTV footage from cameras installed at the traffic intersection was being analysed to spot any suspect vehicle, the officer said.

Investigators also found a chassis number, of a pick-up, from the scene. Two bodies were recovered from the debris several hours after the blast when heavy machinery was employed.

The shockwave created by the explosion was so severe that the Met Office recorded a jolt measuring 1.3 on the Richter scale at 8.20pm.

Only a day earlier, the CID had disclosed the arrest of seven militants belonging to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.

“The men were involved in the murder of several Shia doctors in the city,” SSP Aslam Khan told journalists.

Citing initial interrogation of the suspects, he said they were planning to carry out bombings on a procession of the community in the city.

Karachi has seen a number of attacks since a Muharram procession was bombed on Dec 28 last year.

Another team of the CID police had also arrested a wanted militant in the city. Iqbal Khan is said to hail from Bajaur, where he was affiliated with the TTP.

Police officials said he was involved in the killings of security personnel and the bombing of army convoys in the tribal region.

Karachi blast highlights dangers for police investigator

Friday 12th November 2010 | Zilhaj 5, 1431

KARACHI: Staring blankly at what used to be his office, the plain-clothed police investigator recalled how he had worked long hours there trying to track down some of Pakistan’s most dangerous militants.

The office was flattened in a suspected Pakistani Taliban suicide car bombing on Thursday at the compound of the Crime Investigation Department (CID), which focuses on apprehending militants who are bent on toppling Pakistan’s U.S.-backed government.

“I arrested members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,” said the investigator, who looked lost, his AK-47 rifle slung over his shoulder.

LeJ is one of Pakistan’s most violent anti-Shi’ite groups and part of an al Qaeda-linked nexus of militants. They include the Pakistani Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed 15 people and wounded 100, and threatened more bloodshed.

The explosion left a crater about 40 feet (12 metres) across and 12 feet (four metres) deep in front of the gutted building in Pakistan’s financial capital and biggest city, where senior militants were held and interrogated.

The police investigator pointed out one of the rooms which held militants. It was reduced to broken concrete slabs and twisted metal.

Parts of nearby buildings collapsed in the attack, which took place metres from the provincial chief minister’s house in a central district known as the “red zone” because of its high security status. The U.S. Consulate and five-star hotels are nearby.

A security guard knelt in the rubble and sifted through a pile of bullet casings. Police said the militants first opened fire, as they sometimes do during such attacks.

Official documents were strewn across the rubble.

Security officers and rescue workers tried to steady themselves over shaky chunks of cement as they searched furiously for possible survivors. A pair of sandals raised hope, but to no avail.

A few feet away a group of security officers grunted as they pushed away a huge block of cement. “Allah-u-Akbar” (“God is Great”), they shouted, hopeful they had found a survivor.

But a few minutes later the body of a paramilitary soldier, his face covered in dust, was carried away on a stretcher. – Reuters

Read this also : Striking at Karachi’s soul

Read more here : Lashkar-i-Jhangvi behind Karachi attack: Malik

Watch the catastrophe : Karachi: The morning after

 Courtesy : Dawn, Reuters & Agencies.

After Baitullah, Is Hakeemullah Dead? Is this time a chance for Faqir Mohammad ?

October 3, 2009

hakeem608

 In this Nov. 26, 2008 photo taken in Orakzai tribal region of Pakistan shows Hakimullah Mehsud who has become the leader of Pakistani Taliban faction after death of Baitullah Mehsud.-AP

Tehrik-i-Taliban chief Hakeemullah Mehsud dead?

WASHINGTON: US intelligence agencies believe the newly named leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, might have been killed in a firefight with a rival faction weeks ago, officials said on Friday.

Militants tapped Hakimullah to replace the group’s previous leader, Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed by a missile fired from a CIA-piloted drone aircraft in his South Waziristan stronghold on the Afghan border on August 5.

Hakimullah’s death, which officials said has yet to be confirmed definitively, would be another setback for a group that has mostly been fighting against Pakistani security forces but also sends militants to join the battle against US and NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

‘We’re pretty clear that we think he’s dead,’ a US defence official said of Hakimullah.

A counterterrorism official said: ‘While there’s no final confirmation of his death, it’s a distinct possibility.’

The officials, who spoke about the intelligence on condition of anonymity, said Hakimullah was believed to have been shot weeks ago during a clash with a rival group in South Waziristan.

US intelligence agencies are still reviewing information to make a final call on his death.

baiBaitullah Mehsud, who led an alliance of 13 militant groups known as the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, was blamed for a series of suicide bombings in Pakistan, including the one that killed former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Hakimullah had been described as even more aggressive than Baitullah.

Washington believes the Taliban has been weakened by infighting between factions vying to take command since Baitullah Mehsud’s death.

‘The point is there is a succession crisis going on,’ the defence official said, adding there were other contenders to lead the movement. ‘There’s a variety of factions within the Mehsud tribe.’

Military aircraft and artillery have been hitting Taliban targets in Waziristan for months, and it is unclear if and when ground forces will move in force.hakeem316

As part of its campaign to weaken the Taliban, US officials said the Pakistani army has been trying to negotiate with various factions, trying to split them off from harder-line groups loyal to Baitullah.

Several top members of his group, including one of his aides and the spokesman from the Swat valley, have also been captured in recent months.

The Pakistani army believes it has cleared nearly all of the former Taliban bastion in Swat, 80 miles northwest of Islamabad, with an offensive launched in April.

While largely forced out of Swat and Bajaur, there are still thousands of well-armed fighters in South Waziristan and other regions.-Reuters

fkrFaqir Mohammad will be sowrn in as a Chief of  Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan,TTP, if  Hakeemullah is realy dead . This is a high chance. But the media persons do not know exactly after how many days they have to prepare a story of suspected death next Taliban Chief of Pakistan. But it is sure that after so many casualties, the Talibans in Pakistans hardly changed their mind set to give up the way of Violence in order to be humane, rational and fit for civil soceity in the days of present advancement.

Hakimullah Mehsud declared as the New Taliban Chief in Pakistan, Faqir Muhammad is not the Chief :: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan

August 23, 2009

hakimullah-mehsud_232561s

Pakistan Taliban name Hakimullah Mehsud as new leader

REUTERS 23 August 2009, 01:23pm IST

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban ( Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan,TTP)  announced a successor to slain commander Baitullah Mehsud, but intelligence officials said on Sunday it was probably a smokescreen meant to hold together a movement left leaderless for almost three weeks. ( Watch Video )

Taliban officials rang journalists in northwest Pakistan on Saturday to say Hakimullah Mehsud, a young militant who commands fighters in the Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram tribal regions, had been chosen as the new chief by a leadership council, or shura.

Western governments with troops in Afghanistan are watching to see if any new Pakistani Taliban leader would shift focus from fighting the Pakistani government and put the movement’s weight behind the Afghan insurgency led by Mullah Mohammad Omar.

A BBC report quoted Faqir Mohammad, head of the Taliban in the Bajaur tribal region, as saying Hakimullah was selected. fkr

Tribal elders told Reuters that Hakimullah was named after Faqir Mohammad was dissuaded from taking the leadership, although earlier he had said he was taking temporary command.

“There’s confusion. Two days ago, Fariq Mohammad claimed he’s acting chief and now he says Hakimullah is,” one senior intelligence officer in northwest Pakistan said. “It’s a trick.”

Intelligence officials insisted Hakimullah was killed or gravely wounded in a shootout with a rival days after Baitullah Mehsud was killed by a U.S. missile strike on Aug. 5.

“The announcement is real, but the man isn’t,” the officer said. “The real Hakimullah is dead.”

Another senior officer, who requested anonymity, speculated that the Taliban leadership was trying to buy time until one of Hakimullah’s brothers returned from fighting in the Afghan insurgency to take command of his men.

Verifying anything in the Taliban-held tribal regions is difficult and the past few weeks have seen a spate of claims and counter-claims by the Pakistani authorities and the militants.

Taliban officials say Pakistani intelligence agents were spreading misinformation to create divisions in the movement.

The Pakistani authorities say the Pakistani Taliban is in disarray and the statements made are meant to preserve some sense of unity until a new leader embaierges.

The Taliban have denied that Baitullah Mehsud was killed in the missile strike, but say he is seriously ill.

After the reports of a shootout between Hakimullah and a rival, a Reuters journalist subsequently received calls from both of them denying that there had been any fight.

Intelligence officials doubt whether the callers were who they said they were, even though the journalist knew both men’s voices and believed they were genuine.

Baitullah had united 13 militant factions in northwest Pakistan to form the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in late 2007, and the Pakistani authorities are hoping that death would hasten the disintegration of the loose-knit alliance.

A virtual silence over the succession issue in South Waziristan, the stronghold of Baitullah and region where the largest number of fighters is concentrated, made intelligence officials doubt if consensus on a new leader had been reached.

South Waziristan lies at the southwest end of the tribal lands bordering Afghanistan, and Bajaur is at the northeast end.

Tribal elders said Faqir Mohammad was told to drop ideas of leading the Taliban as it would only bring more trouble to Bajaur, a region where the army declared victory in March after a six-month campaign against the militants.

Security forces have surrounded Baitullah’s redoubt in the mountains and carried out bombing raids, though a ground offensive does not appear imminent.