Pakistan Security Brief

Pakistan Security Brief – June 23, 2009 

Islamabad-supported rival of Pakistani Taliban leader Beitullah Mehsud shot down in Dera Ismail Khan; reported drone attack on militant training center in South Waziristan kills six militants.    
  • Qari Zainuddin Mehsud, a militant commander and an outspoken rival of Baitullah Mehsud, was assassinated by one of his bodyguards. Supporters of Qari Zainuddin immediately blamed Baitullah Mehsud for orchestrating the killing. The killer, who managed to escape, was identified as Gulbaddin Mehsud from Makeen, an area under the influence of Baitullah. Almost immediately, Misbahuddin Mehsud (a.k.a. Toofan Mehsud), the brother of Zainuddin, was declared the new leader of the Abdullah Group. According to analysts, the killing not only sends a message to others of the consequences of colluding with the government, but also demonstrates how tenuous the Abdullah Group’s hold is in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank, where it claims to have influence.[1]
  • A drone strike reportedly fired missiles at a Beitullah Mehsud stronghold in Makeen today, according to “military and intelligence officials.” The attack was said to have killed several militants.[2]
  • The Pakistani military reportedly hit a number of locations in South Waziristan with airplanes, gunships and artillery, killing fifteen people on Monday. Pakistani security forces continue to try and secure the critical Wana-Jandola road in South Waziristan. Reporting sources claim that nearly all the residents of one town – Kaniguram – had fled as a result of the operations in the South Waziristan.[3]
  • The ISPR (Pakistani military public relations) made a statement Monday saying that the military operations in Swat operation are nearly finished and that “preparatory maneuvering” was already underway for an operation in South Waziristan. Maj. Gen. Abbas said that last strongholds of the Taliban in Swat were almost secured and that while the hunt for leadership elements would continue, it was safe for government employees to return to their posts.[4]

[1] M Irfan Mughul “Baitullah rival Qari Zainuddin shot dead in D I Khan”, Dawn News Online, June 23, 2009. Available at Salman Masood and Pir Zubair Shah, “Rival of Pakistan Taliban Leader Is Assassinated”, The New York Times, June 23, 2009. Available at
[2] “U.S. drone fires missile into Pakistan”, Reuters, June 23, 2009. Available at
[3] Bill Roggio, “Pakistani aircraft pound Taliban in South Waziristan”, The Long War Journal, June 23, 2009. Available at
“Troops face tough resistance in SWA”, The News Online, June 23, 2009. Available at
[4] Iftikhar A. Khan, “Swat action in final stage: ISPR”, Dawn News Online, June 23, 2009. Available at    
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