Pakistan Security Brief
Security forces battle militants in Orakzai; militants ambush a convoy in North Waziristan; four alleged spies for the US were killed in North Waziristan; Baradar’s arrest leads to power struggle; killings of pro-government officials make a comeback in Swat; Pakistan’s courts are unable to handle terrorism cases.
On Friday militants ambushed a military convoy traveling in the Boya area of Datta Khel in North Waziristan, killing seven soldiers, including an army captain, and injuring sixteen others. Prior to the incident, Pakistani troops allegedly killed a fifteen year old boy who was in the vicinity of an IED attack on a different military convoy. Militants reportedly staged the ambush in retaliation for the death of the boy.
Several clashes between security forces and militants were reported in Orakzai on Thursday. One battle occurred in the Sangara-Kambarmas area of lower Orakzai, where at least 25 militants and one security official were killed. Another battle ensued in the Sangara and Mishti Mela areas of the agency, leaving five militants dead. Ten militants and one soldier were killed in yet another battle around Sangara. Reports also indicate security forces killed eight militants during artillery strikes in different areas of Orakzai.
Four bodies—two of which were decapitated—were discovered in the town of Mir Ali, North Waziristan of Friday. Two of the dead were Afghans, and the other two were local tribesmen from the surrounding area. Locals discovered the bodies with a note claiming “all those spying for the US and Pakistan will suffer the same fate.”
Mullah Baradar’s arrest
Following the arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in February, both Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir and Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor were named to replace Baradar in Afghanistan. The two commanders are now locked in a struggle for power in southern Afghanistan, and reports suggest the leadership council is split over who should take Baradar’s position.
Details are beginning to emerge in Swat about the recent increase in killings of anti-Taliban leaders. Since April 13, five pro-government individuals who had been involved with peace talks in the valley have been killed. Although the individuals behind the murders remain unknown, locals fear the Taliban are returning to the valley in retaliation against the locals who are opposed to the Taliban.
Prosecuting suspected terrorists
Pakistani and US officials say that because of problems with Pakistan’s civilian justice system, thousands of suspected militants in jail are being held indefinitely. Pakistani officials claim that the country’s civilian courts are not prepared to handle a large number of complex terrorism cases and the military does not have an applicable military justice system.