In Mingora, Swat, Taliban have killed one of their chief opponents in Swat, residents and officials said on Tuesday. But residents of the scenic mountain valley and a senior government politician said increasingly brazen militant attacks were raising fear the military was losing control. The militants killed one of their biggest rivals in the valley on Sunday. Samiullah Khan was a Pir, or spiritual leader of Sunni Barelvi sect, who had raised a militia to fight the Taliban.” They were chasing him for some time and found him at home. An exchange of fire took place in which the militants killed Pir Samiullah and seven of his followers,” said Gul Noor, police chief in the valley’s Matta town. The militants also captured 24 of Khan’s men. A spokesman for the Taliban in the valley, Muslim Khan, said a Taliban council would decide the fate of Khan’s 24 supporters.
Pakistan militants kill rival and bring fear to valley
Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:37am GMT
By Junaid Khan
MINGORA, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani Taliban have killed one of their chief opponents in a north-western valley — once a tourism centre — where they are trying to impose a reign of terror, residents and officials said on Tuesday.
Violence has surged in the Swat Valley, 120 km (80 miles) northwest of Islamabad, since August when government forces launched a fresh offensive to clear militants from what was until recently one of Pakistan’s main tourist destinations.
But residents of the scenic mountain valley and a senior government politician said increasingly brazen militant attacks were raising fear the military was losing control.
The militants killed one of their biggest rivals in the valley on Sunday. Samiullah Khan was a pir, or spiritual leader, who had raised a militia to fight the Taliban.
“They were chasing him for some time and found him at home. An exchange of fire took place in which the militants killed Pir and seven of his followers,” said Gul Noor, police chief in the valley’s Matta town.
The militants also captured 24 of Khan’s men.
In a grim show of defiance, the militants dug up Khan’s body on Monday and strung it up in Matta’s main square, residents said.
A spokesman for the Taliban in the valley, Muslim Khan, said a Taliban council would decide the fate of Khan’s 24 supporters.
“We don’t know who’s controlling the region but at least we’re not. The militants are operating openly,” Adeel said.
“Police don’t have the capacity to fight an insurgency and all this is happening in the presence of a well-trained army. What’s going on?”
A senior military official in Swat acknowledged the insurgency being waged from remote mountains had intensified, but he said the army had a strategy.
“We’re fighting a guerrilla war. They operate in small groups. They’re not in towns but do use population as a shield,” said the officer, who declined to be identified.
“They are trying to create a reign of terror among the local population and we have to tackle it and we’re on it.”
Separately, insurgents attacked a security check post in the Mohmand region on the Afghan border on Tuesday and seven militants and one soldier were killed, paramilitary officials said.
(Additional reporting by Shams Mohmand; Writing by Kamran Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel and Jerry Norton)
Link to BBC Urdu dot com article:
45 cops surrender to militants
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
By our correspondent
MINGORA: Forty-five policemen, who reportedly surrendered to the militants, were granted ‘clearance certificates’ by local Taliban in Manglore area of Charbagh Tehsil of restive Swat on Monday. Sources said 45 policemen, whose identity could not be ascertained, surrendered to the militants in Manglore area of Charbagh Tehsil in the Swat valley. It was reported that the militants awarded clearance certificates to the policemen so that they could produce them in future to avoid arrest.
Militants torch 15 houses of ANP leader
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
By our correspondent
MINGORA: Unknown militants on Monday torched 15 houses owned by former federal min-ister and Awami National Party leader Afzal Khan Lala in Droshkhela area of the restive Swat valley.
The houses were used by his personal servants. No casualty was reported in the incident as the inmates had already abandoned the houses. It may be mentioned that militants had earlier blown up the markets of Afzal Khan Lala at the Matta Bazaar and a Hujra on the bank of the Swat River.
Separately, the militants awarded 30 and 15 lashes to two drug peddlers and two addicts, respectively. According to militants, Gulbar and Sahib were involved in drug pushing who were awarded 30 lashes each for the crime, while Zahid Ali and Hazrat Zaib were awarded 15 lashes each for consuming drugs.
Similarly, two alleged thieves, whose names could not be ascertained, were also awarded 30 lashes each in Bandai area of Kabal Tehsil. Meanwhile, the body of Khair-ur-Rahman, a resident of Khairabad in Galoch area of Kabal, was found in Aligarama. Some unknown persons had recently kidnapped him.
Sources said that unidentified persons had kidnapped Khair-ur-Rahman from his village Khairabad a week ago.
The next day his son, Maulvi Mumtaz Ali, went out in search of his father, but the Maulvi
was found dead in Sarsenai area. Also, the Tehsil municipal committee on Monday buried two dead women, who were killed by unknown persons at the Green Chowk Bazaar of Mingora city in the wee hours of Sunday.