Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief - August 18, 2009�
Unknown attackers killed three people in Quetta in what police officers described as targeted killings; Pakistani military officials announced that a ground offensive against militants in South Waziristan is months away and that the immediate plan is to maintain a blockade and continue aerial strikes; a suicide bombing in North Waziristan killed three security officials at a check point near Miranshah; top Tehrik-i-Taliban spokesman Maulvi Omar was captured on Tuesday in Mohmand agency by local security forces and reportedly confirmed Beitullah Mehsud's death; a militant bombing reportedly in retaliation for anti-militant militias killed several people outside of Peshawar.
- Three more people were killed Tuesday in the latest round of violence in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province. The assailants, all gunmen, have not been identified, but local police officers suspect the attacks to have been deliberately targeted.
- A Pakistani army commander released a statement Tuesday announcing that the military will need "months" to be able to launch a ground offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan, citing equipment shortages as the main obstacle. In the meantime, the military plans to maintain pressure on the area through a tight blockade and continued aerial bombardment.
- A suicide bombing in North Waziristan killed at least three security officials on Tuesday. The attacker, who also died in the explosion and has not yet been identified, rammed his vehicle into a checkpost on the Mir Ali road near Miranshah.
- Maulvi Omar, a top Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman, was captured on Tuesday in Mohmand Agency by local pro-government forces. Pakistani security officials report that during his interrogation he confirmed the suspected death of Beitullah Mehsud in a U.S. drone strike two weeks ago and further disclosed that there have been "problems" with the selection of new leadership for the group.
- Seven people were killed and eight injured in a bomb explosion in Chersadda, near Peshawar, on Tuesday. Local Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, announcing it to be in retaliation for the formation of anti-militant lashkars (militia) in the area and threatening more violence if the groups are not disbanded.