Waziristan Ground Operation Coverage (Pakistan October 2009)

The Critical Threats team has amassed here all of our coverage on the ongoing ground operation in Waziristan for the month of October (current updates for the month of November are located here). Please check back for frequent updates.

The Critical Threats team has prepared a briefing on the ongoing ground operation in Waziristan, examining the timeline of events leading to the operation, the Pakistani force breakdown, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) structure and key players, the role of other players, the details of the fight on each of the three fronts day-by-day, the potential effect on the war in Afghanistan, among other factors.

To find our key conclusions and the link to the full presentation CLICK HERE.

 

Situation Updates: 

(Our page has moved. For daily operational updates for the month of NOVEMBER, please CLICK HERE)

 

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - DAY FIFTEEN - OCTOBER 31, 2009

Day Fifteen of Operation- October 31, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the fifteenth day into South Waziristan Agency (SWA) in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud tribal areas (ISPR, The News, DAWN).         

  • The Army released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours security forces have killed thirty-three militants and four Pakistani soldiers died, but press-restrictions have made it impossible to confirm number of deaths (ISPR, The News, DAWN).         

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan. Progress has been reported on all three axes.         

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: Sara Rogha remains surrounded by security forces on three sides and key terrain around the city has been secured. Some local sources report that forces have entered Sara Rogha, while security forces say they expect to begin clearing the city in the next twenty-four hours. Thirteen militants were killed during fierce clashes. A number of weapons, ammunition and grenades were found in the clearance of Kotkai and Shishamwam (ISPR, The News).         

    • Shakai-Ladha/Kaniguram Axis: Security forces have begun clearance operations inside of Kaniguram, and Karama, a suspected Uzbek enclave, has been surrounded. Seventeen militants were killed and two soldiers were injured in this area. Three militants were killed in fierce fighting in Kaniguram. An improvised explosive device factory was found in Kund Mela and security forces have secured Asman Manza (ISPR, The News).         

    • Razmak-Makeen Axis: Security forces report that Nawazkot has been cleared and they have reached Makeen, “the nerve center of TTP.” Search operations in Sharkai Sar and Nawazkot uncovered weapons and Arabic and Uzbek literature. Two other soldiers were injured when militants fired rockets at soldiers on Green Ridge (ISPR, The News).         

  • In the Swat-Malakand operation, eight suspected militants surrendered to security forces in Mankial while eleven others were detained during operations in Shangla, Sambat, Roria, Qambar and Gulibagh (ISPR).    

  • Security forces claim that they control most of the roads and routes in the area of SWA. They also report that electronic intercepts suggest the militants are in disarray, having lost key territory and resources and suffering from desertions (ISPR, The News). 

  • Twelve militants have reportedly been killed in airstrikes and shelling in Mamozai and Orakzai. Additionally, TTP militants have reportedly been fleeing to the Tora Bora mountains, through Kurram agency (DAWN).

  • Seven Frontier Corps soldiers were killed in an explosion in Bara. They were driving supplies to a forward base when their vehicle was hit by an IED, killing all occupants in the vehicle (DAWN).

  • The military reports that 7,203 cash cards have been given to IDPs from SWA. Almost twenty-thousand people have been given food (ISPR).   

 

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - DAY FOURTEEN - OCTOBER 30, 2009

Day Fourteen of Operation- October 30, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the fourteenth day into South Waziristan Agency (SWA) in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud tribal areas (ISPR, DAWN).     

  • The Army released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours security forces have killed fourteen militants and two Pakistani soldiers died, but press-restrictions have made it impossible to confirm number of deaths (ISPR, DAWN).          

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR, DAWN, AP).          

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: The Pakistani military has advanced west of Dralima and North West of Ahnei Kalay and is now in control of Point 1345. This point is strategically important because it “dominates” Sara Rogha. Fourteen militants were killed during skirmishes while two soldiers were killed from mortar fire and three others were injured from an IED (ISPR, DAWN).                 

    • Shakai-Ladha/Kaniguram Axis: Pakistani military forces have begun operations in Kaniguram. Security forces have secured and now control ridge Point 6954, two kilometers west of Kaniguram and north of Kund Mela. A number of rifles, grenades and ammunition were found during a search and clearance operation in Sarwek. Forces have begun sanitizing Khaikaeh Narai and have secured Asman Manza. The Army reports that “search and clearance operations in Kaniguram” have begun (ISPR, DAWN).                  

    • Razmak-Makeen Axis: Security forces report that they are dominating the Razmak-Makeen road and are consolidating positions at Pakalita Sar and Manza Sar. In Pakalita Sar security forces have uncovered a number of weapons, ammunition and targets at a training center. RPGs and grenade launchers were also recovered in Nawazkot (ISPR, DAWN).         

  • In the Swat-Malakand operation, six militants have been captured in search operations in Badshai, Hwarai, Mar Patai, Baz Darra Bala. IEDs have also been found in similar operations in Dabsar. Five terrorists reportedly surrendered at Wainai and Gulibagh (ISPR, DAWN).       

  • A limited number of journalists were offered a guided tour of the battlefield in South Waziristan. This is the first time the Pakistani military has allowed journalists in the area (The New York Times, AP).  

  • The German passport of Said Bahaji, a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist linked to hijackers involved in the 9/11 attack, was found in South Waziristan (BBC, AP, DAWN).

  • The Pakistani government reports that a total of 7,176 cash cards have been given to IDP families (ISPR).  
     

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - DAY THIRTEEN - OCTOBER 29, 2009

Day Thirteen of Operation- October 29, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the thirteenth day into South Waziristan Agency (SWA) in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud tribal areas (ISPR, BBC, The News).  

  • The Army released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours security forces have killed eleven militants and the Pakistani military suffered one death, but press-restrictions have made it impossible to confirm number of deaths. (Security forces in South Waziristan gave selected reporters a tour of the battle field and told them that that they killed eighty-two militants on this day.) (ISPR, BBC, The News).  

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR, BBC, The News).  

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: Security forces have cleared Inzar Kalay of IEDs and are currently clearing Zeriwam. Security forces are regrouping along the Kotkai-Sara Rogha Axes to prepare their advance. Security forces are within a few kilometers of Sara Rogha. During the operation to secure Ganra Kas security forces killed five militants and one soldier was killed from mortar fire. Local sources report that twenty militants were killed in a clash at Ahmadwam (ISPR, The News).   

    • Shakai-Ladha/Kaniguram Axis: Security forces have moved to surround the key town of Kaniguram, a stronghold of Uzbek militants and “operational center” for the TTP.  Kaniguram is the second largest town in South Waziristan, after Wana, and is believed to have a population around 90,000 prior to the engagement, though undoubtedly many people have left their homes.  There are believed to be one thousand and five hundred Uzbek militants in the city. The Army reports that it is “closing in” on Kaniguram from the east and west.  During this expansion the Pakistani military has found training camps North West of Khaikaeh Narai. During operations, security forces have secured strategic heights of Point 2200 and Asman Manza, north of Kaniguram. Six terrorist have been reportedly killed in these operations. Security forces are also consolidating troops at Sarwek and Tarkona Narai. Local sources say forces are preparing to secure Masp Mela, and Karwan Manza in the next twenty four hours (ISPR, BBC, The News).  

    • Razmak-Makeen Axis: Security forces have secured Sharakai Sar, Pakalita and Manza Sar feature on the Razmak-Makeen Axes. The press release states that the Pakistani military has consolidated troops at Shaga, Point 6813, Tip Ghar and Green Ridge and are attempting to consolidate central and eastern Nawazkot (ISPR, The News).  

  • In the Swat-Malakand operation, Pakistani military forces have carried out a search operation in Nawakilli and arrested four suspected militants. During the same operation, forces arrested the driver of “terrorist commander Hussain” (ISPR).    

  • The Pakistani Air Force has reportedly bombed militant strongholds in Sara Rogha, Spin Mela, Ladha Piazha and Sam. The security forces have also shelled positions from Razmak and Jandola. Local sources say that militants have been killed from these strikes but the casualty number is unknown (The News).

  • As the death toll to Wednesdays bombing in Peshawar rises to over one hundred people, TTP commander Hakimullah Mehsud denies having involvement in the attack, stating, "If we are able to attack sensitive installations... as well as the [army] General Headquarters, then why would we need to attack ordinary people?" (BBC, The News).    

  • The Army is continuing to restrict press from South Waziristan and has called the area a closed military zone until the offensive ends. Contradicting this statement the military gave a select few members of the media a tour of the battlefield. They showed them captured militant bases and drove them on secured roads (BBC, The News).

  • The army reports that a total of 7,099 cash cards have been given to IDP families and the helpline remains active. Two medical camps have been constructed for IDPs (ISPR, BBC). 

 

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - Day TWELVE - october 28, 2009

Day Twelve of Operation- October 28, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the twelfth day into South Waziristan Agency (SWA) in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud tribal areas (ISPR, The News, DAWN).

  • The Army released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours security forces have “achieved substantial success on all three axes.” The government reports twenty-five militants and five soldiers have been killed in recent fighting, but press-restrictions have made it impossible to confirm death numbers. Five other soldiers have been injured in the operations (ISPR, The News, DAWN).

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR, The News, DAWN).

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: Security forces have begun securing heights that overlook Sara Rogha on the Kotkai-Sara Rogha road. Sara Rogha is seen as the next important battle on this axis after Kotkai. They also report that they have secured point 1233, west of the Kotkai-Sara Rogha road, and Nullah Junction, two kilometers north of Ganrakas. Eight militants were killed during this operation and three soldiers were injured. Twenty-five training centers and nine caves have been found and destroyed in Kotkai and three training centers have been found in Murghabund. Security forces have completely cleared Inzar Kalay. Local sources say six militants were also killed in a battle with security forces at Sherkot (ISPR, The News).

    • Shakai-Ladha/Kaniguram Axis: Security forces have surrounded Kaniguram on three sides. They have secured point 2120 on the west and the key feature of Karwan Manza, which not only overlooks Kaniguram, but also the Karama and the Kaniguram-Kotakai road going east. Both Karama and Kaniguram are strategically important strongholds for the militants. Five militants were killed in these operations and only one soldier was wounded. Local sources say troops are busy removing landmines and IEDs (ISPR, The News, DAWN). 

    • Razmak-Makeen Axis: Security forces have secured strategically important heights around Nawazkot and on the Razmak-Makeen axis. The forces are currently conducting search operations around Nawazkot and consolidating forces at Shaga, point 6813 Tip-Ghar, Laghar Narai and Sharakai Sar. A number of bunkers, weapons and fighting positions have been found in the area. One soldier was injured and twelve militants have been reported killed (ISPR, The News).       

  • A large cache of weapons, rockets and ammunition has been seized in the operations (ISPR, The News, DAWN).

  • Some sources say that Pakistan Air Force planes have bombed TTP positions in Ladha, Maidan and Patwela but There are no casualties reported and these reports cannot be confirmed (The News).

  • Director General ISPR Major General Athar Abbas said that Uzbek fighters were the main target of the operation and “as soon as the area is cleansed from terrorists, including foreigners, the Mehsud tribesmen will return to their area to resume their own system.” Abbas also said that militants were getting money and supplies from Afghanistan, including drug money (The News, DAWN).

  • The government said that they have determined that Waliur Rehman was still present in South Waziristan. This information was gained through electronic interceptions (The News).

  • Local sources say that militants are fleeing from Sara Rogha to North Waziristan on the Shawal Road because of the offensive (The News).

  • In Mohmand Agency, security forces killed two militants when they attacked a checkpoint in Baizai Tehsil. This was the third attack on a security checkpoint in the last week (The News).

  • In the Swat-Malakand operation, three militants surrendered during operations in Shagai, Malam, Jabba, and Manglaur. Ten others were captured in Sharifabad, Malukabad, and Mingora (ISPR).

  • Nearly one-hundred people were killed in a large car-bomb in a crowded market in Peshawar. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.  Since the beginning of the Waziristan operation many attacks have been carried out in Pakistan (BBC, DAWN, The News). 

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Islamabad today to show the United States support for Pakistan’s “fight against brutal extremist groups,” (DAWN, The New York Times).

  • The army reports that fifty tons of rations have been delivered to IDP families and cash cards continue to be offered to them (ISPR).     

 

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - Day ELEVEN - october 27, 2009

Day Eleven of Operation- October 27, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the eleventh day into South Waziristan Agency (SWA) in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud tribal areas. It appears as though the military is “tightening its grip around Taliban (TTP) areas in South Waziristan,” (ISPR, BBC, DAWN, The News). 

  • The Army released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours forty-two militants have been killed. Eight of them are believed to have been foreigners.  This raises the total number of militants killed in the operation to two-hundred and forty.  The same report says that one soldier has died and two have been injured but the restriction of press from the area makes these numbers impossible to confirm (ISPR, BBC, DAWN, The News).   

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR, BBC, The News).        

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: Security forces have taken complete control of the east and west ridges on the Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis and have cleared Zeriwam village. They also continue to secure ridges on the west side of the main road near Ganra Kas and on the east side of the main road at Konar Height. On this axis, security forces continue to conduct clearance operations on secured villages. In the clearance of Gharlai, five militants and one soldier were killed. The BBC reports that the next goal is to secure the Sara Rogha plains and then to take the city itself. This will limit the militants supply and escape routes in and out of SWA (ISPR, BBC, The News).  

    • Shakai-Ladha/Kaniguram Axis: Seven militants were killed by security forces as they secured large portions of the Sherwangi-Ladha Axis and have progressed past Chalweshti on the Shakai-Kaniguram road. The military reports that it has advanced as far as the suburbs of Kund Mela-Momekaram. Clashes have also been reported in Shakai and Tiarzai (ISPR, BBC).     

    • Razmak-Makeen Axis: Nawazkot has been surrounded by security forces and important ridges past Nawazkot have been secured. Security forces have also retaken control of an old Fortier Corps post in Nawazkot. They have secured Tip Ghar and Laghar Narai. Thirty militants were killed in operations in Pakallita Sar, Manza Sar, Green Ridge, Lahgar Narai, Zar-e-Sar Base, Tauda China and Makeen. Two rockets were fired at a camp at Razmak, injuring two soldiers (ISPR, DAWN).     

  • Large amounts of weapons and ammunitions have reportedly been seized by government forces on the Razmak-Makeen Axis and on the Shakai-Ladha Axis and in the Badar area. Government forces also report that they continue to encounter IEDs, mines and booby traps. Three soldiers were reportedly injured when an IED struck their vehicle (ISPR, DAWN, The News).

  • Government officials have reported that Pakistani Air Force planes have bombed locations at Ladha, Shpeshtin, Gadawai, Kacha Langarkhel, Mashta, Sam and Salay Rogha. The shelling of Badar, Nanu, Kotkhel, Jalandar and Karama and Imarkhel and Bandkhel has also been reported (The News).

  • Around thirty militants attacked the Baidani checkpoint in the Baizai area of Mohmand resulting in the deaths of eleven militants and two soldiers (DAWN).

  • The BBC reports that the militants’ strategy is not to hold territory but instead to “[cede] territory to the security forces and then [counter-attack] when the military starts to secure the area,” (BBC).

  • In the Swat-Malakand operation the government reports that eight militants have surrendered to forces in Miandam, Sarsanai and Fizaghat. Three other suspected militants were arrested at Mian Killi and clearance operations were conducted at Sam Shin and Sambat Cham (ISPR).

  • President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani met today to discuss the ongoing operation in SWA. This is their first meeting since the start of the conflict (The News).

  • An unnamed high-ranking Army officer and his mother were attacked by gunmen in Islamabad today, they both survived (BBC).

  • Cash cards have been distributed to thousands (7,025) of IDP families and they have in turn withdrawn 5.3 million rupees. The Army has also set up a helpline for IDPs in Dera Ismail Khan. The United Nations released a statement that said 205,000 people have been displaced by the operation (ISPR, The News).
     

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - Day Ten - october 26, 2009

Day Ten of Operation- October 26, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the tenth day into South Waziristan Agency in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud areas (ISPR, The News).

  • The Army has released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours, nineteen militants were killed and six soldiers died in operations. This information cannot be confirmed due to press restrictions in the area (ISPR, The News, DAWN, AP).

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR, The News).

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: Military forces have advanced from Kotkai securing roads leading to Inzar Kalle and Sara Rogha from Kazhakas. Military forces secured Gharlai village located on the main road between Kotkai and Sara Rogha; during this operation, described as a “fierce clash”, ten militants were killed, with the military suffering six killed in action and fourteen injured. The injured were evacuated by military helicopters. (ISPR, DAWN, The News).

    • Shakai-Kaniguram Axis: Military forces have secured Chalweshti village and advanced from there. Security forces secured key locations prior to surrounding Sarwek village. Military forces are preparing to search and remove mines, IEDs, and booby traps. Engagements north of Sarwek village have killed seven militants and injured five soldiers (ISPR, DAWN).

    • Razmak: Soldiers secured the Shaga, and Sharakai Sar heights in the Nawazkot area overlooking the Nawazkot-Makeen road. Two militants were killed and one soldier was injured in exchanges of fire (ISPR, DAWN).

  • Militants launched an attack on checkpoint Asif Shaheed in Hangu district located south of Orakzai Agency killing one soldier and injuring four others. Fifteen militants were also killed during this operation (ISPR, DAWN).

  • Seven militants were killed when they attacked a checkpoint in Matthak village in Bajaur – four soldiers were also killed in the firefight (AP, DAWN, AP, The News).

  • An aide to Mullah Fazlullah, Ali Shah Khan, was arrested.   Eleven other suspects were arrested in Kalam, Barain, Nawakali and Manglor. Afghans are believed to be among the suspects (DAWN).

  • A curfew has been held in place in SWA and communication continues to be difficult due to the government’s jamming of cell phones (The News).

  • Sources say that military planes have bombed militants who have crossed into Orakzai Agency. There are no casualties reported and these reports cannot be confirmed (The News).

  • Twenty militants were killed and thirty-seven others were arrested in Orakzai Agency and Hangu. A number of arms and ammunition were also seized in the operation. (Geo).

  • Relief Activities - Two medical camps are being created for displaced families from Waziristan at Rata Kolachi Stadium in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank. 7,012 cash cards have been given out to displaced families from the Waziristan conflict, who have withdrawn 1.3 million rupees. An IDP presence has also been reported in North Waziristan Agency (ISPR, The News).

  • Swat-Malakand – Operation Rah-e-Rast: On October 25, 2009, Pakistani military imposed a curfew from Alam Ganji to Shangia to prevent loss of life while they searched for a potential suicide bomber. One militant surrendered to military forces in Matta. Twelve militants, including seven Afghanis, were captured during search operations in Kalam, Barhain, Nawakilli, and Manglour (ISPR, DAWN, GEO TV).
     

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - Day Nine - october 25, 2009

Day Nine of Operation- October 25, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the ninth day into South Waziristan Agency in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud areas(ISPR, The News).

  • The Army has released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours fifteen militants and one soldier have been killed. Azam Tariq, the spokesman for the TTP, claims that only three militants have been killed and that large numbers of soldiers have been killed. These numbers are difficult to confirm due to the restrictions on press entering the area (ISPR, The News).

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan. In the ISPR press release, no information is reported for progress in the north, near Razmak (ISPR).   

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: Security forces secured the strategically and symbolically important town of Kotkai on Saturday. The forces then pushed past Kotkai and secured the Shishanwam ridge and another point two kilometers north of Kotkai. The Army reports that many militants have fled from forces along this axis and are firing rockets at them from elevated territory. The forces also moved northwest of Kotkai and secured ridges of Kaskai. (ISPR).

    • Shakai-Ladha Axis: Security forces secured Tarkona Narai, the “highest feature on [an] important junction east of [Sharwangi],” after a day of fighting. The strategic point consisted of a series of bunkers and strong points. The army claims twelve militants were killed in this battle including eight in a truck fleeing the scene. Near Sharwangi the army seized rockets, weapons and mortars. Other reports say that government forces are close to a TTP stronghold near Kaniguram and have taken control of Upper Kaniguram. A clash has been reported in the Momi Karam and forces have surrounded Selai Rogha.  Shelling has also been reported in the area (The News, ISPR).

    • Razmak: Security forces have taken control of Nawazkot area and captured Spin Kamar (The News).

  • Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani made his first trip to the theatre today when he visited South Waziristan. On his trip to the town of Wana, Kayani met with his officers and other soldiers in the area (ISPR).

  • IDPs leaving the area claim that militants have fled the villages, prior to the operation, to either neighboring Orakzai Agency or Balochistan (The News).

  • In the Swat-Malakand operation- security forces apprehended a dozen suspects including one suspected suicide bomber (ISPR).

  • The Army continues to distribute rations to IDPs in Dera Ismail Khan and Wana. Cash cards have been given to displaced persons as well (ISPR).
     

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - Day Eight - october 24, 2009

Day Eight of Operation- October 24, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the eighth day into South Waziristan Agency in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud areas(ISPR, The News).   

  • The Army has released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours twenty-one militants and three soldiers have been killed(ISPR, The News).      

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan. No information is reported for progress in the north/Razmak Axis (ISPR, The News).    

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: Security forces have taken “complete control” of Kotkai after launching a major assault on the night of Friday/Saturday. The army press release reports that many of the houses in the town had been converted into fortified positions. Also the town was said to be the training ground for Qari Hussein’s suicide bombers. Security forces have taken control of Shishanwam and are attempting to secure the heights around the city. The ISPR says that local forces report that eighty-ninety militants, including Uzbeks and Arabs, were killed in the initial days of the offensive in Spinkai/Kund (ISPR, The News).     

    • Shakai-Ladha/Kaniguram Axis: Security forces are attempting to secure the height of Tarkona Narai which dominates the junction to Kaniguram and Sar Wakai. This comes after the forces secured Chalwastai. The press release says that militants are putting up a stiff resistance and are fighting from fortified positions and bunkers. During a search operation in Khaisura village rifles were seized (ISPR, The News).  

  • A drone killed thirty-three militants in Bajaur Agency in a strike that is believed to have targeted TTP deputy chief Maulvi Faqir Mohamed.  (The News, DAWN).

  • The Army has reported that militants have deserted the operation in large numbers. These reports have not been confirmed independently (ISPR).

  • A Pakistani military helicopter also crashed near Nawapass. Anonymous military officials claim that the Mi-17 was shot down (ISPR, DAWN).

  • The ISPR continues to report on progress in Swat-Malakand operation. A total of thirteen militants have been captured including three which surrendered (ISPR). 

  • Large numbers of IDPs are reported in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank. Food items, money and non-food items have been distributed to 80,000, says a government report (ISPR).
     

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - Day seven - october 23, 2009

Day Seven of Operation- October 23, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the seventh day into South Waziristan Agency in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud areas (ISPR). 

  • The Army has released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours thirteen militants killed, six apprehended, two soldiers killed, and seven soldiers injured (ISPR, The News). 

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR). 

    • Jandola-Sara Rogha Axis: After intense fighting, key points of Shishamwam have been secured by military forces. Seven militants were killed during military operations, with the military suffering one killed in action and two injured. Military forces seized a Vickers machine gun, rocket launcher, Kalashnikovs, a sniper rifle, a hand grenade, communication equipment, and ammunition (ISPR, DAWN).  

    • Shakai-Ladha Axis: Military forces secured Sherwangi and have proceeded to advance on Chalwasti village on Shakai-Kaniguram-Ladha Axis. Militants are retreating from advancing forces. Six Uzbek militants, including a local commander, have been killed during military operation, with the military suffering one soldier killed in action and five injured (ISPR, The News).

    • Razmak: Militants have fired indirect and direct weapons at Razmak Camp, no injuries or deaths have been reported (ISPR). 

  • Swat – Malakand : Military forces apprehended fifteen militants in different areas of Swat. Seven militants voluntarily surrendered to military forces in Mingora. Three militants were killed near Nijigram (ISPR, The News).

  • Relief Activities – 5,573 cash cards have been distributed to IDP families located in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank. Since October 13, 2009, 8,296 IDP families have been registered, with another 593 dislocated families moving to Dera Ismail Khan from Waziristan (ISPR).

  • Three suspected attacks occurred in Pakistan:  

    • Suicide bomb attack on the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra. Seven are believed to be dead including two Pakistani Air Force members (DAWN).

    • A possible car bomb was detonated in Hayatabad, an affluent suburb of Peshawar. The bomb went off outside a popular restaurant and thirteen are believed to be injured. Two suspects were apprehended by authorities (DAWN).

    • An anti-tank mine killed fifteen and wounded six in Mohmand. The target was a minibus full of wedding-goers. The road that the explosion occurred on is regularly used by government forces (DAWN).

 

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - day six - october 22, 2009

Day Six of Operation- October 22, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the sixth day into South Waziristan Agency in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud areas (ISPR, DAWN).

  • The Army released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours, twenty-five militants and two soldiers have been killed (ISPR, DAWN).

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR, DAWN).

    • Jandola – Sararogha Axis: After intense fighting, Tor Ghundai, east of Kotkai, has been secured by military forces, in addition to destroying a series of bunkers and caves. Military operations caused heavy casualties on militants requiring them to pull back from their defenses. Thirteen militants have reportedly been killed. Systematic Operations to secure Shishamwam spurs and caves has begun. “Mizo-Wam has been fully secured” (ISPR, DAWN).

    • Shakai – Ladha Axis: Military forces are extending their security perimeter North of Sherwangi – in addition to securing Gurgura Sar. On October 21, 2009, militants launched an operation west of Sherwangi, only to be repealed by military forces. It was reported that eleven militants were killed, several injured, and one Pakistani solider KIA. Checkpoint has been set up at road Torwam-Sherwangi for patrolling the area. Since 2007, militants controlled the Torwam Bridge linking Torwam and Ladha. Military forces have regained control of the Torwam Bridge (ISPR).

    • Razmak: Pakistani military have set up blocking positions on roads leading from Makeen. Six rockets were fired by militants at Razmak camp, killing one solider and injuring another (ISPR).

  • Relief Activities – Since October 13, 2009, an estimated 7, 184 IDP families have registered in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank (ISPR).

  • Suspected Taliban militants on motorbikes targeted and assassinated a Pakistani army Brigadier Moin-ud-din Ahmed in the capital, Islamabad (AP, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, BBC).

  • Arab, Pakistani, Afghani militants, and children of the militants, were killed in a mysterious explosion in Surkot village on Wednesday evening. It is widely reported that no senior al-Qaeda members were killed in the blast. There continue to be rumors that the blast was a possible drone attack (The News).
     

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - day five - october 21, 2009

Day Five of Operation- October 21, 2009

  • Security forces continue their offensive for the fifth day into South Waziristan Agency in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud areas (ISPR).

  • The Army has released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours fifteen militants and three soldiers, including one officer, have been killed.   The TTP has refuted this statement and insists that forty soldiers were killed at Kotkai. Actual reporting remains difficult due to the militaries restriction of press from the area of fighting. (ISPR, The News).

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR).

    • On the Jandola – Sara Rogha Axis, security forces are engaged in an “intense encounter with terrorist hiding on heights surrounding Kotkai.”  Security forces have secured Malk Shahi and are undertaking clearance operations in Mizowam, a check point has been established at Manzai Kili, and forces are strengthening positions at Spinkai (ISPR).

    • On the Shakai – Ladha Axis, security forces have cleared Khaisura village and are conducting a search and clearance operation in Sherwangi. Military forces have been consolidated at Wuzi Sar and Gurgura Sar. Large bunkers were discovered with weapons cache and two-meter thick walls during military operations (ISPR).

    • From the north, heavy clashes have been reported near Razmak and Makeen (DAWN).

  • The security forces used helicopter gunships to attack TTP near the Pakistan and Afghanistan border. This comes after NATO closed its border posts on the Afghanistan side of South Waziristan (Reuters).

  • Government forces also continue to use helicopter gunships and artillery to attack militant positions in Makeen and Ladha. (Reuters).

  • A drone strike was reported in the North Waziristan village of Spalga. The target is unknown, but the initial reports say three militants were killed in the attack.  (An updated AFP report on the attack suggests that the blast was not a drone attack but was an explosion caused by an unknown source) (AP, AFP).

  • Six foreign militants have reportedly been killed in Sarogha (Geo).

  • IDPs fleeing the fighting in South Waziristan have reportedly been trapped by the fighting between the militants and the TTP in Laddah, Zangara, Swara Rogha, Kerchkhel and Shah Welai (Dawn).

  • The battle for Hakimullah Mehsud’s hometown of Kotkai continues. Sources say that security forces destroyed the Hakimullah’s house, but continue to struggle for control of the city (DAWN).
     

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - day four - october 20, 2009

Day Four of Operation - October 20, 2009

  • Security forces continue an offensive for the fourth day into South Waziristan Agency in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud areas (Reuters, DAWN).

  • The Army has released a statement that in the last twenty-four hours twelve “terrorists” and four soldiers have been killed. A total of ninety militants and thirteen soldiers have died in the first four days (Reuters, ISPR).

  • The government reports that security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR).

    • On the Jandola – Sara Rogha axis security forces are consolidating positions around Kaskai and Shishanwam and are fighting militants who have dug in the surrounding hills.

    • On the Shakai-Ladha Axis the security forces are still consolidating positions at Sherwangi but are extending their control. They are also clearing the village of Khasura which was bypassed on day two of the operation.

    • The ISPR did not offer an update on forces coming in from the north in Razmak, which were last reported as moving towards Makeen.

  • After Pakistan security forces took Kotkai, in an operation Monday night, TTP forces launched a counter-offensive and retook the town Tuesday morning. The Pakistani Air Force has responded by conducting airstrikes on TTP positions in and around the town (Reuters, DAWN).

  • Details emerged about the deal Pakistan’s army struck with militant commanders, Maulvi Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur, to remain neutral and stay out of the government’s offensive against the TTP. With regard to Nazir, in exchange the government agreed to open up some of the road blocks and start development projects within his area of influence (AP, The News).

  • Twin suicide blasts occurred at the International Islamic University in Islamabad killing between four and seven people, including the two suicide bombers. This is the first attack outside of the NWFP since the beginning of the operation (BBC, DAWN, AFP).

  • The government reports that it has established five internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Dera Ismail Khan and one in Tank, to support the large numbers of civilians fleeing South Waziristan. One report says that the number of registered IDPs has reached 150,000 (Geo, ISPR).

 

MAP OF CONFLICT AREA IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN - day three - october 19, 2009

Day Three of Operation - October 19, 2009

  • Security forces continue an offensive for the third day into South Waziristan Agency in pursuit of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Mehsud areas (ISPR).

  • The government reports that eighteen militants and two soldiers have been killed in Operations in the previous twenty-four hours. Twelve soldiers were reportedly injured (ISPR).

  • Security forces continue their three-pronged incursion into the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan (ISPR).

    • On the Jandola – Sara Rogha axis security forces have surrounded Kotkai, the home of suicide bomber militant Qari Hussain. Late Monday night security forces moved into and secured Kotkai (Reuters, DAWN).

    • On the Shakai-Ladha Axis the security forces are consolidating positions at Sherwangi

    • Forces are also consolidating in the north near Razmak, where forces have come under rocket attack from Makeen

  • Ammunition dumps and abandoned gun positions have been found and destroyed in Spin Ghara, Ladha and Makeen (ISPR).

  • A Taliban commander was killed along with seven other militants (Geo).

  • A total of nine soldiers and seventy-eight militants have been killed in the three day offensive (BBC, Reuters).

  • Militants fired a rocket at both Razmak and Shakai forts. One soldier was wounded at Razmak (ISPR).

  • Fighter jets have been deployed to strike targets in Makeen, Nawazkot, Spinkamar and Khaisora. Security forces have resumed the use of helicopter gunships after neutralizing the threat from anti-aircraft guns (BBC, Reuters).

  • BBC reporter Aleem Mogbool reports from Dera Ismail Khan that aid agencies have been told by the government not to offer assistance to the thousands of displaced people for fear that it “may be channelled back to help tribesman and militants" (BBC).

  • The military has secured the Ingalmall mountain range which separates Afghanistan from Pakistan in order to prevent militant infiltration and escape and to stymie militant resupply from Afghanistan (BBC).

  • The anti-Baitullah militant group led by Misbahuddin Mehsud, Abdullah Mehsud group, has made an announcement that it is willing to fight against the TTP and supports the government’s offensive (DAWN).

  • The government air-dropped leaflets containing an open letter from General Kayani to the Mehsud tribe stating that the operation is not against the Mehsud people as a whole, but only the TTP and foreign militants (DAWN).

  • Security forces have arrested twenty-six suspects in another operation in Swat/Malakand Operation Raah-e-Raast (Path of Truth) (ISPR).

  •  Fighting still continues in Bajaur and Mohmand Agencies. Fourteen militants were killed in airstrikes on Mohmand Agency on Monday. Seven insurgents were killed in Bajaur Agency on Monday in clashes with security forces (The News, The News).
     

MAP OF WAZIRISTAN AND NEIGHBORING AREAS - day one/two - october 17-18, 2009

 Day Two of Operation - October 18, 2009

  • Pakistan security forces continue their operation into South Waziristan Agency to capture or kill TTP militants on Sunday (DAWN, Geo, Reuters, ISPR).

  • A total of sixty militants were killed as heavy fighting continues into the second day of Operation Rah-Nijat, (Path to Deliverance) (DAWN). The military claims that only five soldiers were killed and a total of eleven were injured in clashes with militants thus far (Reuters). 

  • The military continues its advance along three main axes (DAWN, Reuters).

    • Security forces advancing from the north were met with resistance in Nawaz Kot town (Reuters).

    • Security forces advancing into South Waziristan from the southwest met strong resistance at the TTP held Khasura town and continued to face resistance in Sharwangi. Khasura was bypassed, to be cleared later (ISPR, DAWN, Reuters).

    • Security forces advancing from the southeast captured TTP stronghold of Spinkai Raghzai and set up a checkpoint on the route to Kotkai (DAWN, Reuters).

  • Heavy fighting has also been reported at Sharwangi and Makin between the TTP and Pakistani security forces (DAWN).

  • The military says it has captured six 12.7 mm anti-aircraft gun emplacements to allow helicopter gunships to operate in the area (ISPR).

  • According to the military, TTP militants have abandoned some of their posts, in some cases leaving behind weapons, as the military continues to advance and conduct secondary search and clearance operations. An army spokesman says civilians are not being targeted in the operations (Geo, ISPR).

  • Army spokesman General Athar Abbas says security forces are encountering less resistance than expected but they are moving slowly due to the difficult terrain.  Many Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and land mines have been found during the operation (BBC, Geo, ISPR).

  • TTP spokesman Azam Tariq says that security forces occupied Kanda and Kalkali but the militants were able to push the military out of those areas (DAWN).

    • Tariq also claims that militants fired missiles into a house in Shakai and killed eight soldiers (DAWN).

    • TTP spokesman Azam Tariq remained defiant and promised a defeat of security forces when he told the AP: “This is a war imposed on us and we will defend our land till our last man and our last drop of our blood. This is a bound to end in the defeat of the Pakistan army” (Geo).

  • 21,000 people have registered as IDPs with local authorities in the last few days. This brings the total number of registered IDPs to almost 100,000 (DAWN, Reuters).

  • Security forces continue to conduct a simultaneous operation in Swat/Malakand, Operation Rah-e-Rast (Path of Truth) (ISPR).


Day One of Operation - October 17, 2009

  • Pakistani military forces have launched a long-awaited ground operation in Waziristan (New York Times, DAWN).

  • Pakistani military and civilian leaders met late on Friday, October 16, and decided to launch the Waziristan Operation. Troops entered militant-controlled territroy at 3:00 AM Pakistan time on Saturday morning. A curfew was imposed across much of South Waziristan and the neighboring districts (Xinhua, DAWN).

  • 28,000-30,000+ soldiers involved, including five-hundred Special Services Group (SSG) commandos (New York Times, DAWN, Xinhua).

    • Rumors emerged that up to 60,000 troops, including paramilitary units and police, may eventually be involved in the operation (The National - UAE).

  • Troops advancing from three directions towards Makeen: from the southeast from Jandola through Sara Rogha, from the southwest through Tiarza and Shakai; and from the north through Razmak (Reuters, DAWN).

    • Troops also moved towards Kotkai, Spinkai Raghzai, Kaniguram, Saam, Baddar, Karkanra, Sarwekai and Kalkai (AFP, DAWN, The News).

  • Fighting currently reported in Makeen, Spinkai Raghzai, Tiarza, Sharwangi, Kalkai, Razmak, Karkanra and Mandana areas (BBC, DAWN, Geo, The News).

    • Troops have reportedly captured Spinkai Raghzai and Ghazi areas (Geo, AFP, The News).

    • Aerial bombardment reported in Badar, Khaisoor, Barwand, Kotkai, Kalkala, Makeen and Shakarkot areas (The News).

  • Between two and four Pakistani soldiers killed and twelve injured thus far (DAWN, Geo); three dead in North Waziristan near Razmak and one dead in South Waziristan in Jandola (DAWN, Geo).

    • Conflicting reports say only two soldiers killed in North Waziristan (New York Times).

    • Military forces are advancing slowly, with one official saying "Forces are moving inside Mehsud territory. Initially we have moved not full strength but some forces to establish foot holds," (AFP)

  • Between nine and eleven militants killed thus far (DAWN, Geo).

  • Mobile phone and communication signals are down across much of South Waziristan and the neighboring districts due both to jamming by the military and militant assaults on communication infrastructure (BBC, BBC).

  • 250,000 civilians have fled South Waziristan thus far, according to the UN (DAWN).

    • Kot Azam in Tank district has been established as an IDP registration point (The News).

  • Operation launched at behest of Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, who said an operation was necessary due to the recent wave of violence in Pakistan (Los Angeles Times).

  • Pakistani daily The News, citing anonymous Pakistani security officials and other sources, reported that the Afghan Taliban had joined the fight in Waziristan on the side of the TTP and were also involved in the recent spate of attacks and bombings across Pakistan (The News, The News).

 

For daily operational updates for the month of NOVEMBER, please CLICK HERE

 

RELATED CRITICAL THREATS PUBLICATIONS

Pakistan Security Brief (October)

Reference

Analysis of Security Situation in Waziristan

Biographies of Waziristan Militants