Pakistan Security Brief
Two separate bombs kill at least four in Bannu; Pakistani jets target militant hideouts in Bajaur; Pakistani officials discuss militants and IDPs with Mehsud tribe; at least 12 three-star generals will retire from the Pakistani army.
Two bombs detonated minutes apart near a police facility in Bannu city, located in Bannu district. The Thursday attack, one of which was a suicide attack, is believed to have killed four people and injured at least 20 others. No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts, and officials are investigating the other bomb’s method of delivery.
Pakistani fighter jets targeted militant hideouts in Bajaur agency on Wednesday, killing four militants and injuring several others. The aerial bombing occurred in several areas of Mamond district following an operation by security forces earlier in the day.
Pakistani officials established February 20 as the deadline for Mehsud tribal elders to turn over militants hiding in South Waziristan. Officials, talking to a Mehsud tribal jirga, also stated that internally displaced persons from the region will likely return in March and that it is the tribe’s responsibility to protect the property of IDPs from militant attacks.
It was reported on Wednesday that Pakistan’s Army will replace some of its top leadership, as at least 12 three-star generals will retire this year. Four of the 12 three-star generals are corps commanders, and another three-star is the ISI chief. Several media reports, however, surfaced and said that ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s tenure had been extended one year. On Thursday, though, Presidential spokesmen Farhatullah Babar clarified those rumors regarding Pasha’s tenure, which is scheduled to end in March 2010. Babar said Pasha’s contract had not been extended one year, but he declined to say if it will be extended at a future date.