Pakistan Security Brief
At least 15 militants killed in U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan; Security Forces kill Taliban militants in Swat as Army plans major redeployment to prevent Taliban resurgence; India issues nationwide terror alert for New Year’s weekend; Pakistani brothers face trial in UAE for recruiting al Qaeda operatives.
At least 15 militants were killed on Tuesday in U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan. Pakistani security officials based in Miram Shah and Peshawar confirm that U.S. drones first stuck two insurgent compounds in Ghulam Khan village, killing five militants. Later in the day, the same security officials report that U.S. drones destroyed a convoy of three vehicles in Nawab village, near the Afghan border. Ten militants were reportedly killed in this second drone strike. Pakistani officials were reportedly working to ascertain the identity of those killed to establish if any high-value targets were among today’s dead. For a detailed map and more information about militant activity in North Waziristan, please click HERE.
Two militants were killed and six others were injured on Tuesday in clashes with security forces in Mohmand tribal agency. Security officials told reporters that the militants attempted to attack a checkpoint in the agency’s Safi sub-district before being successfully repelled by security personnel.
Pakistani military commanders have decided to redeploy elite military units to Swat to prevent the resurgence of Taliban militants there, according to a new report by the Express Tribune. The same army officers and foot soldiers that routed Taliban militants from Swat in 2009 are again being redeployed to combat remnants of the Taliban insurgency. The army’s Punjab and Azad Kashmir regiments are being moved back to Swat from bases in Kharian and Jhelum, along Pakistan’s border with India. The Pakistani military has decided to redeploy these units because they have “experience in Swat” and reportedly “know the terrain and had been successful there in eradicating militants last year.” Asked about the army redeployment, one unnamed security official told the Tribune, “Most of them will now be going back…we don’t want to leave any loopholes on our part.”
At least six militants, including two Taliban commanders, were killed on Monday in clashes with security forces in Swat. Security officials report that a gunfight broke out in the Atarwar area of Swat’s Kalam sub-district after the two Taliban commanders, identified as Shamsur Rehman (alias Zarqavi) and Noorul Hadi, refused to surrender to government forces.
Indian Terror Alert
Indian officials on Tuesday expanded last week’s terror warning beyond Mumbai, increasing security at all airports, major railway stations, and key facilities in cities across the country. Unnamed sources from India’s Home Ministry told reporters that Indian officials have implemented these heightened security measures following new intelligence that members of Lashakr-e-Taiba (LeT) may be plotting to attack targets during New Year celebrations. The popular Indian beach resort of Goa was also identified as a potential target. Today’s increased security alert comes just days after Indian security officials heightened security in Mumbai in response to intelligence reports that up to four members of the LeT were planning attacks in the city.
Two Pakistani brothers faced trial yesterday in the UAE for allegedly collecting money and recruiting operatives for al Qaeda in the Gulf Emirate. According to court papers, the two brothers are being charged with, “running a jihadi organisation and aiding and abetting al-Qaeda.” UAE officials told reporters that prior to their arrest the brothers had been in contact with senior al Qaeda officials in Pakistan and that they had sent supplies and equipment to operatives in Waziristan.
At least three people were reportedly injured in a minor blast at the University of Karachi on Tuesday. According to university officials, the explosion, which may have been caused by a firecracker, was detonated in the university’s cafeteria. Today’s blast was the first blast at an educational institution in Karachi.