Taliban execute Bajaur tribal leader


The Taliban tortured and executed a tribal leader who raised forces to battle the Islamic extremists in Pakistan's contested tribal agency of Bajaur.

The body of tribal leader Gul Mohammad was found in the Salarzai region in Bajaur. Mohammed was reportedly tortured and then strangled to death.

The Taliban pinned a note to Mohammed's body that said "the man was spying for security forces and anybody found involved in anti-Taliban activities will meet the same fate," Dawn News reported.

Mohammed raised a tribal lashkar, or militia, and aligned with the government to fight the Taliban. The Taliban have actively targeted tribal leaders as they attempt to organize lashkars to eject the extremists from their towns. Mohammed is the sixth senior tribal leader killed in Bajaur since Oct. 3. Five of the tribal leaders were killed in the Mamond region in Bajaur.

The Salarzai tribe, which lives in a region adjoining the Mamond tribal areas, has clashed with the Mamond Taliban. Salarzai leaders have accused Pakistan's military and intelligence service of aiding the Taliban against tribes that dare to raise lashkars, or militias, against them, and of even shelling Salarzai tribal areas. A senior Salarzai tribal leader later denied such reports, however, and said the tribe was working hand in hand with the government.

The Mamond region in Bajaur is a notorious stronghold for the Taliban and Faqir Mohammed, the chief of the Bajaur Taliban. Although the military has conducted several operations there, it has failed to eject the Taliban. Earlier this year, the military claimed the Taliban had "lost" in Bajaur and the neighboring tribal agency of Mohmand after a six-month-long operation that ended at the beginning of March.

Al Qaeda is also known to shelter in Mamond. In January 2006, the US targeted a meeting of senior al Qaeda leaders in the town of Damadola in Mamond. Ayman al Zawahiri, Abu Khabab al Masri, and several other senior al Qaeda leaders were thought to be meeting there.

The Mamond region in Bajaur has also served as a safe haven for the Swat chapter of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Shah Doran, the deputy to notorious Swat Taliban commander Mullah Fazlullah, recently died of died of complications from cancer in the Mamond region. The Pakistani military had previously claimed Doran was killed in June during the military operation in Swat.



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READER COMMENTS: "Taliban execute Bajaur tribal leader"

Posted by Mr T at December 29, 2009 12:14 PM ET:

Where is the worldwide outrage over this killing? Tortured and murdered? The world seemed to be really incensed when the fake story of flushing Korans in the toilet at Gitmo came out. There was rioting in the streets about US torture and people were killed. But yet our enemy just tortures and kills everyday and the general response is 0 which is how many comments were here before this one.

This war is being waged on the propaganda front also. AQAM is very very good at that part of the war. They are kicking our behinds on that front. In fact, winning that part of the war is crucial to AQAM's continued ability to fight. If we can make inroads there, we can make it much more difficult for them.

My goodness. Most Pakistanis believe that 9-11 was done by the CIA and Mossad. How stupid is that? Its also a reflection of the poor job we are doing in the public relations area which requires no killing. It should be a major focus of our overall war strategy. Education is more than reading writing, and arithmatic. It's also about truth and understanding.

Posted by MalangJan at December 29, 2009 3:54 PM ET:

Do LWJ have any record of how many Tribal elders were killed by AQ/Taliban in Wazistan with the help of ISI? According to my sources it is more than 600.

Posted by rational enquirer at December 29, 2009 4:45 PM ET:

Too true, Mr. T. The really shocking thing is that most Americans are nearly as ignorant about this war as is the rest of the world. Thus the enemy's propaganda has very nice fallow ground in which to grow.

Posted by STEVE M at December 29, 2009 8:30 PM ET:

This is terrible, it is very frustrating to read about people being killed for standing up to aq/taliban. Unfortunately, it seems like the same old story in pakistan. this might be why there is a lack of comments on this article, just my opinion. I don't think it is a lack of respect for this tribal leader. Am I the only person that gets the impression that pakistan really doesn't want the tribes standing up to the taliban?

Posted by Greg at December 29, 2009 9:21 PM ET:

That's more like it...