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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Syed Saleem Shahzad: Militants give bloody show of strength

I marvel! If SSS knows this, why is this not obvious to the intelligence appartchik in Pakistan and their bosses? ~~~t

Militants sources confirmed to Asia Times Online that the raid was the first major operation of the new nexus comprising al-Qaeda, Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and Punjabi militants. They are angered by the agreement between Pakistan and the United States to hunt for top al-Qaeda and Taliban figures, as well as Pakistani militants, inside Pakistan. The attack perfectly underscores the words of United States


However, the biggest American complaint was about the base of legendary Afghan mujahideen leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, in Dande Darpa Khail in the North Waziristan tribal area on the border with Afghanistan. The Americans rightly felt that one day his camp would play a decisive role in the Taliban-led insurgency. They were dead right. In 2006, Mullah Omar appointed Haqqani his deputy and central military commander and the wily fighter was pivotal in helping the Taliban regroup, culminating in their successful spring offensive in 2006.

Last week, a CIA Predator drone attacked Makeen, the native town and headquarters of Mehsud in North Waziristan. Subsequently, the US placed a US$5 million ransom on his head - the first time it has done this for a Pakistani national. This happened even though Mehsud renounced violence against the Pakistani security forces after the Swat peace agreement this month. He instead will focus on foreign forces in Afghanistan. The attack on Mehsud's headquarters broke the ceasefire and a new wave of suicide attacks on the security forces has played havoc in North-West Frontier Province in the past few days. Monday's assault on the police training camp extends the battlefield into urban areas.


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