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Taliban shift frontlines

Posted by :) on April 9, 2009


Taliban shift frontlines, prepare for urban wars Suicide Squads Regrouping In Pakistan’s Cities Omer Farooq Khan | TNN Islamabad: Pakistan is bracing for more attacks on its cities as the Taliban, pummelled in their hideouts in the northwestern province by deadly US drone attacks, have decided to shift the frontline of their war to urban centres.

Finding themselves unable to retaliate against the heavily barricaded US troops, the Taliban militias are now regrouping their suicide squads in cities, according to sources close to Pakistan Taliban commander Behtullah Mehsud, who carries a US-funded $5 million reward on his head. In another development that will deepen the West’s concerns, scores of Taliban have moved into Buner district, barely 100 km northwest of Islamabad, from the Swat valley, agencies reported. “About 20 vehicles carrying Taliban entered Buner on Monday and started moving around the bazaar and streets,’’ said a senior police officer, Israr Bacha. The reports quoting local police said villagers formed a militia to confront the Taliban and eight of the insurgents were killed in a clash on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the threat to cities in Pakistan is growing. “As Pakistan and the US have agreed to take strong military action against the Taliban all around the tribal belt, we will not spare any Pakistani city till such time Pakistan changes its pro-American policy,’’ said Qari Hussain Mehsud, Taliban chief ideologue and suicide bombing trainer. Behtullah Mehsud has already named him his heir apparent. Qari Hussain, an influential Taliban leader who has survived several attacks in Waziristan by Pakistani and US forces, is also charged with the task of intensifying the attacks on the security forces, government installations and foreign diplomats and is coordinating the movement of Mehsud’s footsoldiers to the plains of Punjab. “Suicide bombings yield good results for us. We have enough suicide bombers and we sent some of them on missions to major cities with the objective to counter the Pakistan government’s pro-US policies,’’ Rahim Khan, a native of Tank, bordering tribal Waziristan and close aide of Qari Hussian, told TOI recently at a remote location near Peshawar.

FOCUS ON PAKISTAN Upset with their remarks over alleged link between ISI, Taliban and al-Qaida, the Pakistani spy agency chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha refused to meet visiting US special representative Richard Holbrooke and American military commander Admiral Mike Mullen US vice-president Joe Biden says Taliban and al-Qaida leaders, including Osama bin Laden, are hiding in Pakistan’s tribal areas, where the US is fighting a war on terror Pakistan’s envoy to the US Husain Haqqani has sought $30 billion from the US to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban

TALIBAN FRONTLINERS

TALIBAN FRONTLINERS

BATTLELINES BEING REDRAWN: Faced with drone attacks by the US, Taliban are moving towards urban areas

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