Archive for the ‘tribal region’ Category

Pakistan targets militants in 2nd tribal area

November 16, 2008

Pakistani helicopter gunships engaged in a bitter offensive against militants in a northwest tribal region struck targets in a neighboring area Sunday, a sign that the conflict may be widening to other parts of the rugged zone bordering Afghanistan.

Elsewhere in the northwest, Pakistan temporarily suspended oil tankers and trucks carrying sealed containers from using the Khyber Pass, a move that put pressure on a vital supply line for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The media center for the paramilitary Frontier Corps confirmed Sunday that helicopter gunships, backed by artillery, have been pounding suspected insurgent hideouts in Mohmand tribal area since Saturday.

By ASIF SHAHZAD, Associated Press Writer Asif Shahzad, Associated Press Writer

Mohmand is south of Bajur tribal region, an al-Qaida and Taliban stronghold where the military says a three-month-old offensive has killed more than 1,600 suspected militants.

In this Nov 10, 2008 file photo, Pakistani tribal people stand ...
Pakistani tribal people stand near an armored car reportedly hijacked by militants in Khyber region of Landikotel, 34 miles (55 kilometers) northwest of Peshawar, Pakistan. An official said security forces are hunting militants who hijacked 13 trucks carrying military vehicles and other supplies for foreign troops in Afghanistan.(AP Photo/FILE)

Speculation has abounded that upon taking control of Bajur, the military would set its sights on Mohmand.

The U.S. has praised Pakistani military offensives against insurgents — a separate one is underway in the northwest’s Swat Valley — saying they have helped reduce violence on the Afghan side of the border. American officials have long blamed militants based in Pakistan for planning attacks on U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

An official with the media center, who insisted on anonymity in line with military rules, said the strikes were not part of a separate offensive for Mohmand. He would not specify where in Mohmand the aircraft had attacked.

“It is the same operation. There is no new operation,” the official said. The Taliban fighters “had substantial casualties.”

He did not rule out the possibility of militants leaving Bajur for Mohmand, but added, “Wherever they are, wherever they have strong pockets, we have to and we will flush them out.”

The suspension of specific vehicles along the Khyber Pass comes just days after a band of militants hijacked around a dozen trucks whose load included Humvees intended for foreign forces in Afghanistan.

The hijacking near the entrance of the famed pass highlighted the vulnerability of a critical supply line for the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan, whose materials are regularly shipped through Pakistan in unmarked, sealed containers.

Government official Bakhtiar Khan would not say Sunday if trucks destined for American and NATO forces were the target of the suspension imposed late Saturday. However, he said security concerns had prompted the suspension, but that it could be lifted as early as Monday.

“The suspension was made to review the security arrangements and that has already been done,” he said. “Along with increasing the security and establishing more checkpoints, we have issued orders to deal with attackers and snatchers more strictly.”

Khan said security forces have been told they can fire upon groups of armed men trying to attack or snatch shipments.

Deteriorating security conditions in the northwest are among myriad problems facing U.S.-allied Pakistan. The South Asian nation also is saddled with a sinking economy, and it is taking steps to borrow $7.6 billion from the International Monetary Fund.


Tribal Areas, Pakistan: Awaiting a “Big Bang”

August 23, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I hope that you and your team at the Peace and Freedom will be alright.

Relatively situation in Pakistan and tribal areas is peaceful, but the people have been feeling uneasiness. They think something big is going to happen. The people have been waiting for a big bang.

Politicians and army rulers are in war with each others. There are discussion and counter-claims by the rulers and politicians. They have forgotten that they are in war with terrorists. The terrorists have been taking advantage of this situation and have been strengthening their positions.

Now according to my information, terrorists are planning attacks in whole world. I do not know, but maybe United States will be their target.

According to reports from various parts of Pakistan, Four Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel and three militants were killed in two separate attacks when militants attacked a checkpost jointly manned by police and FC personnel in the Miran police precincts in Bannu as well as a checkpost in Tiarza on Wednesday.

Miran police station duty officer Qudratullah told Daily Times by phone that unidentified militants attacked the Norar checkpost, 12 kilometres from Bannu, at around 2:45am on Wednesday. He said that three FC men died in the attack, while three attackers were killed and two injured in retaliatory firing. However, the attackers managed to take their injured accomplices with them. Qudratullah said the militants attacked the checkpost from two sides and used rockets and other weapons. He said there were 10 FC personnel and seven policemen present at the checkpost at the time of the attack. The dead officials are havaldar Saeed Amin, lance naik Ishaq Ali and sepoy Bedar Bakht.

In another incident in South Waziristan Agency, militants fired rockets at the Tiarza checkpost, injuring six soldiers, military spokesman Maj Gen Wahid Arshad said. However, sources in Wana told Daily Times that one soldier was killed when militants fired at a military transport helicopter that was landing at the Tiarza helipad. Maj Gen Arshad rejected the report, saying that the militants attacked the security checkpost and not the helicopter. He said that the soldier later died of injuries sustained during the battle. Meanwhile, MNA Maulana Mirajuddin of the MMA has reached an undisclosed area in South Waziristan to hold talks with militants who recently kidnapped 15 FC soldiers.

Swat District Coordination Officer Syed Mohammad Javed has stopped NGOs from working in the district after they received threatening letters from suspected militants. Two NGOs – SPEED and PLAIN – which had set up offices near the office of the Swat DCO were sealed by the DCO. Militants have also sent threatening letters to Swat Serena Hotel and Mary Stopes, an NGO. Sources said the letters asked women performing in CD-dramas or working at beauty parlours to stop their “immoral activities”. Earlier, medical reps in Swat were asked to stop wearing paint/jeans and shirts as they are “un-Islamic dresses”.

I shall miss you during your absence, but I shall pray for peace and happiness for you.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid

Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Pakistan’s Frontier Still Held By Terrorists

August 20, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I am really grateful to your goodself for giving me so many times. You are really great. I have really enjoyed keeping contact you. Some time your kind words gave immence pleasure. I have been showing your words to my tribesmen that a person sitting on other side of the world have concern for you. So thank you very much.

Situation in the areas is the same as it was years ago. The exploitation and now the killing and destruction is the hallmark of every day. The tribesmen have been waiting for a miracle. They think one day the United States will order its rulers to stop playing the ugly game. They will directed to stop support to Taliban and terrorists. When that day will no one knows.

But how many years I shall live, but I have been loosing the hope and confidence. Report from Waziristan tribal region spoke of the same violence. Seven people, including three women and two children, were killed and eight others injured when helicopter gunships attacked suspected militant positions in three villages in North Waziristan Agency’s Mirali tehsil, local people said.

However, Inter-Services Public Relations director-general Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad claimed that 15 militants, most of them foreigners, were killed in the operation. Citing intelligence reports, he said two militant hideouts near Mirali were targeted by helicopters.

“Two women who were inside the compounds were also killed,” Gen Arshad said. He, however, denied that any other non-combatants had been killed in the early morning strike.

Eyewitnesses said intense shellings from four helicopters caused considerable damage in Eisuri, Hurmez and Khushali villages of Mirali. The Cobra helicopters started bombing and shelling at about 6am and the operation continued till 10am. Roads leading to the Mirali town were blocked and security forces laid siege to nearby villages.

Some people in Mirali told Dawn by telephone that three women, two children and two men had been killed and eight others, including women and children, injured in the strike. The injured were taken to a government hospital in the town.

A resident said the house of political tehsildar Shams Gul also came under attack, causing some casualty. Many houses were partially damaged. The Mirali bazaar remained closed.

Gen Arshad said nothing was known about the owners of the compounds, which were used to harbour foreign and local militants. He said militants had taken shelter in the compounds after attacking security forces on Saturday night.Four soldiers were killed and three others injured in separate attacks on security forces in the troubled agency on Saturday night.

A post of the Levies Force in Mamond tehsil’s Saiwai Azernao area was destroyed by a blast and a man was killed when the house of a tribal elder came under fire in Inayet Kali area of Bajaur Agency on Saturday night, officials said.

They said the bomb disposal squad defused another bomb. Political authorities arrested 18 people under the collective responsibility clause of the Frontier Crimes Regulation.

Dear Sir, Please pray for us.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid

Khar, Bajaur Agency [Pakistan]

Musharraf pulls out of anti-terror meeting; Blames U.S.?

August 8, 2007

by Lynne O’Donnell

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf cancelled a trip to Afghanistan to attend a key anti-terrorism meeting, citing a previous engagement amid heightened security concerns.

On the eve of a high-profile meeting of leaders from volatile regions bordering the two countries, Musharraf telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to tell him that he would not attend, the foreign ministry said.

The Pakistani president would send Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in his place, it said in a statement.

Read the rest:

Car Bomb Kills 9 at Pakistani Bus Depot

August 5, 2007

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Aug. 4 (AP) — A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb at a busy bus station in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least nine people and wounding 35 others, officials said.

Elsewhere in the region, four soldiers and 10 militants were killed in a checkpoint shootout.

The attacker rammed an explosive-laden car into another vehicle near a bus packed with passengers in Parachinar, a town in North-West Frontier Province, said Muhammad Kamal, a local police official.

Read the rest: