Pakistan Security Brief
Pakistan Security Brief – June 19, 2009
The Pakistani army reportedly carried out aerial assaults on militant hideouts in South Waziristan; commentators highlight difficulties in a potential Pakistani army operation in Waziristan, identifying necessary tactics including use of special operations forces, airpower, and precise raids; security forces claim to have arrest over 100 militants in raids Kohat district; police forces reportedly arrested operatives linked with suicide bombing networks in Charsaddah and Rawalpindi.
- Pakistani aircraft bombed “suspected Taliban training facilities” in South Waziristan on Friday and claimed to have killed or wounded several militants. Intelligence officials also reported that Pakistani troops had come under fire from Pakistani Taliban fighters in the mountains sparking a gun battle that lasted several hours. While the military has spent much time building up its forces and has conducted a number of actions into South Waziristan, it maintains that the main thrust of the operation is yet to begin.
- Pakistani defense minister Ahmed Mukhtar claims that the military operation in Swat is nearly over and that the IDPs should start returning on Saturday. It remains unclear whether the areas will be held effectively and militants will be deterred from returning. The UN also says that there are still outstanding concerns over the welfare and safety of IDPs once they return to their homes.
- Analysts commented that the Pakistani army will need different tactics that those used in Swat in order to be successful in Waziristan, in what could be a much more difficult fight. A former FATA chief secretary, retired Pakistani general, and journalist say that the army will need to make heavy use of special forces, airpower, and quick, precise raids in order to be successful against the entrenched militants in Waziristan’s difficult terrain. Additionally, they will need to exploit the differences among the different local tribes, especially the animosity between the Mehsuds and Wazirs, in order to raise their chances of isolating Pakistani Taliban leader Beitullah Mehsud.
- Security forces in Darra Adamkhel have arrested 105 people, including 12 militants, during operations throughout Kohat district. The military also claims to have destroyed two militant hideouts with heavy weapons and gunship support. Those arrested are believed to be affiliated with the feuding militant groups of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) affiliated Tariq Afridi and his rival, Momin Khan.
- Police across the country have made a number of arrests, detaining terrorist operatives in both the NWFP and Punjab. Police in Charsaddah claim to have arrested an expert in the manufacture of suicide jackets. Police in Rawalpindi say they have arrested three people suspected to have been involved with previous suicide bombings and have seized a number of suicide jackets and explosives. The suspects claimed they planned to “carry out terror acts and suicide attacks in Rawalpindi and Islamabad to avenge the brutality perpetrated in the Red Mosque.”
- Militants reportedly blew up two boys’ school and a college in Bajaur on Friday, using “several locally-made bombs.”
“3 Offenders of Pirwadhai Suicide Blast Arrested”, Jang, June 19, 2009. Available at World News Connection.