Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – June 15, 2009
NWFP official indicates Pakistani military to launch offensive in South Waziristan; Pakistani military reportedly undertook strikes in Bannu, Malakand, and Waziristan over the weekend; eight people were killed in a market bombing in Dera Ismail Khan, adjacent to South Waziristan.
- NWFP governor Owais Ghani announced that the government was to start a “decisive” operation against Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan agency. Governor Ghani was quoted saying that “Baitullah was the root of the problem and suicide bombers were being trained by him”. The military has reportedly been conducting shaping operations in Bannu, though mostly in reactive engagements. Mr. Ghani gave no timeline for the start of the operation.
- Various operations through the FATA and NWFP have reportedly led to the death of dozens of militants. The military claimed it had killed TTP fighters in airstrikes on Beitullah Mehsud’s hometown of Makeen and the town of Ladha. A rival of Beitullah Mehsud, Zainullah Mehsud, claims to be rallying fighters in opposition to B.Mehsud’s control.
- The Pakistani military claims to have launched an offensive in Orakzai agency where it targeted hideouts of the Commander Tariq group in Darra Adamkhel, led by local commander Tariq Afridi who has claimed responsibility for many of the recent bombings including that of a senior anti-Taliban cleric and the Peshawar hotel bombing.
- A drone strike in South Waziristan agency reportedly killed five people. The missile fired was said to have targeted a vehicle carrying militants traveling in the Mardar Algad area which, according to a local account, is close to a militant training camp.
- Eight people were killed when a bomb went off in a market in the town of Dera Ismail Khan in the NWFP. Police say the bomb was loaded in a fruit cart and “parked in front of the office of PML-N district president Raja Akhtar Ali in Gunj market”. Thirty-eight were injured in the attack.
“‘Decisive offensive’ ordered against Baitullah Mehsud”, Dawn News Online, June 15, 2009. Available at http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/12-decisive-offensive-ordered-against-baitullah-mehsud--bi-07