Pakistani Taliban Kill 14 Troops, Display Heads in North Waziristan

Army Commander: Offensive ‘In the Offing’

The fighting in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency continues to get uglier, as Pakistani Taliban fighters killed 14 soldiers, beheaded all but one, and displayed the severed heads in the center of the agency capital of Miramshah.

The Taliban had initially attacked an army post on Sunday, and the military responded with helicopter gunship attacks. There was no indication that the military attacks did serious harm to the Taliban, but it did kill three civilians and wound several others.

The US has been demanding a Pakistani invasion of North Waziristan for years, but every attempt has stalled after a few offensives. Pakistani commander Lt. Gen. Rabbani claimed that this time the offensive is “in the offing.”

Throughout history, the tribes in North Waziristan have bristled at external interference, and have fought many long, bloody wars against attempts to impose foreign rule on them. Though nominally part of Pakistan, any attempt by the military to bring the region under control is expected to be met with a massive upswing in retaliatory attacks, a big part of why the offensive have stalled so many times in the past with claims of an “understanding” reached with powerful tribal leaders.

By Jason Ditz

Is Eight Enough? US Reports Killing Hakimullah Mehsud Yet Again

Pakistani Taliban Again Denies Leader’s Slaying

With officials desperately hoping that the eighth time is the charm, they have reported today that they believe the January 12 drone strike against a pair of cars in North Waziristan has killed Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

Readers may remember Hakimullah from the last seven times officials have claimed he was killed, most of them “confirmed kills.” Hakimullah was first slain in August 2009, and slain six addition times between then and February 2010. He appeared in May 2010 to report that despite being killed so many times he was “basically ok.”

As usual, officials cited “intercepted radio communication” in their speculation, because no one ever actually identified any of the victims of the US attacks and they simply hope that they got somebody they meant to get.

And, just as usual, the TTP has already denied the death, with spokesman Asimullah Mehsud saying that Hakimullah wasn’t even in the area where the strike occurred. Indeed the last reports on North Waziristan were that the TTP leadership had agreed to leave the region at the behest of the Bahadur faction, and that they had all moved to South Waziristan, Kurram and Orakzai.

Get Involved...

Share ideas or articles.