Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pakistan: Taliban on the ropes

FOCUS Information Agency - Pakistani Taliban are in trouble as now they are, for the first time, facing mass resistance in parts of northwest. Thousands of people continued attacks on armed Taliban militants in Upper Dir district in Northwest Frontier Province after a suicide bomber struck a mosque and killed over 40 people during Friday prayers, locals said Monday. A suspected militant blew himself up in the mosque at Hayagai Sharqi, a small village in Upper Dir, on Friday to kill worshippers, according to police.

The people blamed Taliban for the suicide attack as the militants were not happy of the people impartial role in the ongoing military offensive, IRNA disclosed. In order to take revenge of the deadly mosque bomb attack, the people formed a ‘Lashkar’ or army to fight the militants and some 3000 locals from 40 villages have in Upper Dir surrounded Taliban fighters in two areas. According to witnesses at least 10 militants have been killed in three days and the ‘lashkar’ has burnt 24 houses and bases of the militants at mountainous ‘Dog Darra’ area. Taliban are besieged in two villages Shotkas and Ghazigai, considered to be their strongholds, locals said. Both sides are firing at each other with heavy weapons, they said.

Sources said that Taliban fighters have been expelled from three areas. Police sources said that a Taliban commander ‘Chamtu’ has been killed in the fighting. The ‘Lashkar’ launched campaign from Hayagai area but later people from other areas also joined the campaign to eliminate or expel Taliban.

Pakistan Taliban, who had enjoyed sympathy among the people, especially in the northwest, have fast lost support after they started suicide attacks in public places and even in mosques. People are also condemning Taliban for attacks on schools, police stations and government buildings, which cause civilian casualties. Taliban are, for the first time in years, facing defeat at the hands of the army as their leadership is in hiding or eliminated, the army says.

According to the army the control and command system of the Taliban has been broken and they are no more in position to show resistance.
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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