Posts Tagged ‘TTP’

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.

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).

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.