The AfPak Reader

September 10, 2009

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 2 – Volume 8

Filed under: Enemy Profiles,Journalist Chronicles,Predator Strikes,Summer 2009 — huntingnasrallah @ 3:13 pm

Mainlining Bill Roggio – Summer 2009 – Week 2 – Volume 8

13 Taliban fighters killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan
By Bill Roggio
July 3, 2009 7:37 AM

The US killed 13 Taliban fighters in a pair of airstrikes in Baitullah Mehsud’s territory in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of South Waziristan.
Unmanned US Predator strike aircraft struck a Taliban training camp in the village of Kotat Khel and a madrassa, or religious school, in the Mantoi region. The 13 Taliban fighters were killed at the Kotat Khel camp, according to reports. The madrassa in Mantoi was reported to have been empty.

A senior trainer of suicide bombers was reported to be among those killed in the Kotat Khel strike.

“The missiles hit an office of Mufti Noor Wali who was once in charge of training militants for suicide attacks,” a Pakistani intelligence official told Dawn.

Today’s strikes are the first since June 23, when US Predators killed a mid-level Taliban commander loyal to Baitullah Mehsud, then followed up with an attack on his funeral procession. The second strike on June 23 killed 83 Taliban fighters and civilians, according to reports. Along with Baitullah, Qari Hussain Mehsud, a senior commander in Baitullah’s network, and Mullah Sangeen Zadran, a field commander in the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, were the targets of the June 23 strikes. The three Taliban leaders survived the attack.

One week earlier, the US launched a flurry of Predator strikes in South Waziristan that coincided with an important meeting between Baitullah and a senior delegation of Taliban and al Qaeda leaders to discuss the military’s operation in South Waziristan. Among those in attendance were Siraj Haqqani, Abu Yahya al Libi, Abdul Haq, and two senior deputies of Mullah Abdullah Zakir. The US appears to have targeted al Qaeda’s senior leadership as it met with Baitullah.

Today’s Predator strikes also take place as the Pakistani military is in the opening phase of its operation to destroy Baitullah’s network in South Waziristan. The military has conducted air and artillery attacks to soften up Taliban positions and is moving ground troops forward while working to secure the main road in the tribal agency.

The Pakistani military has delayed the launching of the ground operation, and senior Taliban leaders are believed to have fled the region in anticipation of the attack. Baitullah is rumored to have left South Waziristan and is said to be sheltering in Mir Ali in neighboring North Waziristan, under the care of Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar, who has ended his peace agreement with the government.

South Waziristan is a major focus of the US air campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Of the 26 US strikes carried out in Pakistan this year, 18 of them took place in South Waziristan. Baitullah Mehsud’s territory has been hit 10 times and Mullah Nazir’s areas have been hit eight times. Both Nazir and Baitullah host al Qaeda training camps and shelter senior leaders of the terror group.

The US is well on its way to exceeding last year’s total of 36 airstrikes in Pakistan.
Extended Notes (Roggio’s Links)

GEO Pakistan
13 killed in US drone attacks in S Waziristan
Updated at: 1132 PST, Friday, July 03, 2009

WANA: Thirteen people have been killed and several injured in two missile attacks by US drones in South Waziristan.

According to sources, US drone fired a rocket at a suspect camp of militants in Kokatkhel village of Sarokai area. Thirteen militants have been killed and several injured in the attack.

Another missile has been fired at maddarsa in Mantoi area. Eyewitnesses said no damage was done due to closure of the maddarsa.



Drone attack leaves eight dead in South Waziristan
By Our Correspondents
Friday, 03 Jul, 2009 | 04:20 PM PST |

WANA/MIRAMSHAH: A suspected US drone fired missiles into a hideout in Serwekai area of the South Waziristan tribal region on Friday, killing eight people, official sources said.

Local people said that an unmanned plane fired three missiles at the compound owned by a tribesman Mufti Noor Wali. They said that the attack was carried out at about 10am and reduced the compound to rubble.

Mufti Noor Wali is stated as being a close associate of Taliban Chief Baitullah Mehsud and his house had been serving as a sanctuary for militants. Official sources said that all the dead belonged to the Mehsud tribe.

US drones have increased their operations in the tribal region. Two deadly missile attacks were carried out in the Mehsud area on June 23 in which over 50 people including militants were killed.

Separately, Pakistan Air Force planes bombed several suspected hideouts in the Degan area of North Waziristan near the Afghan border on Friday.

Local people confirmed the death of seven militants in the air strike which was lasted almost 30 minutes. Five people including a shopkeeper were also wounded.

The wounded were brought to the government run hospital in Miramshah, the regional headquarters. Muhammad Naveed who suffered shrapnel injuries told Dawn at the hospital that jetfighters bombed the Manzerkhel and Degan areas heavily.

‘I was in my shop when a bomb hit a nearby compound,’ he said. Tension has been escalating in the North Waziristan after militants’ attacks on the security forces on June 28. Security forces have engaged the air force, which has been bombing suspected locations in the area.


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