Pakistan Security Brief
Clashes between militants and Pakistani security forces continued over the weekend in Swat and Dir according to security officials and unidentified sources; three terrorists with alleged ties to last year's Marriott hotel bombing were arrested Sunday by police and security officials in the suburbs of Islamabad; TNSM leader Sufi Muhammad was reportedly arrested on Sunday in Peshawar; airstrikes on Monday in Khyber agency reportedly killed nearly two dozen militants according to Frontier Corps officials; a commander for the Abdullah Mehsud group recently denied reports that Ikhlas Khan had been named the new amir for the group following a purported consolidation. �
- At least twenty militants were killed over the weekend in clashes with security forces in Swat, Dir and the FATA. The majority of the casualties were uncovered from suspected hideouts in Swat and Lower Dir, following a bombing Saturday night.
- Three terrorists were arrested Sunday for involvement in last year's Marriott Hotel bombing. They were found in possession of a large number of explosives and weaponry, with which they were allegedly planning to free cohorts of theirs held in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
- The radical cleric Sufi Mohammed, founder of the banned Tehrik Nizam Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM) and signatory to the failed Swat peace deal of February 2009, was arrested Sunday in Peshawar for "encouraging terrorism and violence." Government officials claim he had broken his previous promise to promote peace and disarmament in the region.
- A Pakistani airstrike on suspected militant hideouts in the Tirah valley of the Khyber agency left twenty militants dead, Frontier Corps officials report. Four bases were allegedly destroyed in the attack, which was prompted by an intelligence tip-off of unknown origin.
- The commander of the Abdullah Mehsud group in South Waziristan denied previous reports that the group had chosen Ikhlas Khan as their new amir. In a statement Friday, Qari Misbahuddin Mehsud claimed that Khan--alias "Waziristan Baba"--was an enemy of theirs sent by Beitullah Mehsud to "create a rift among fighters."