The Taliban targeted the Army for the second time in five days in Pakistan’s lawless tribal agency of North Waziristan, while a suicide bomber struck at the police in Peshawar.
A Taliban force killed two Pakistani soldiers during an assault on a checkpoint in North Waziristan. “Four militants, which included three Uzbeks and a German, were also killed in the clash,” Dawn reported.
The attack was likely carried out by the Islamic Jihad Group (or Islamic Jihad Union), a splinter faction of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The Islamic Jihad Group is based out of the Mir Ali region in North Waziristan and maintains close ties with al Qaeda and North Waziristan Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadar. It is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist organization.
German Muslims make up a significant portion of the Islamic Jihad Group. Its fighters are often referred to as German Taliban, and they carry out attacks in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year, the Islamic Jihad Group released video of ‘German Taliban villages’ in Waziristan. Its fighters were seen training at camps and conducting military operations. Over the past year, two American jihadists, Abu Ibrahim al Amriki and Sayfullah al Amriki, have been featured in propaganda released by the Islamic Jihad Group.
The US killed Najmuddin Jalolov, the leader of the Islamic Jihad Group, in a Predator airstrike in North Waziristan on Sept. 14.
Today’s attack is the second against security forces in five days in North Waziristan. On April 23, Taliban fighters ambushed a military convoy and killed two officers and six soldiers. The Taliban claimed they killed 20 soldiers in the ambush.
The two attacks are direct violations of a peace agreement forged between North Waziristan Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar and the Pakistani military. Bahadar agreed to cease attacks on the military and promised not to shelter Taliban fighters fleeing South Waziristan and other areas. The military promised not to carry out operations in North Waziristan. While the military maintains two large bases in Miramshah and Ramzak in North Waziristan, its soldiers are confined to base.
Bahadar’s forces have also violated the peace agreement by sheltering top Taliban and al Qaeda leaders. Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the leader of the Taliban in the Mehsud areas in South Waziristan, and other top commanders and fighters are known to shelter in the Miramshah region.
Suicide strike in Peshawar
The Taliban also carried out a suicide attack in Peshawar today. A suicide bomber drove his car packed with explosives into a police checkpoint in the provincial capital, killing four policemen.
The attack in Peshawar is the second against the police there in two weeks. A suicide attack at a bazaar in Peshawar targeted and killed a police chief and 22 others during a protest by the pro-Taliban Jamaat-i-Islami political party. The Jamaat-i-Islami failed to denounce the attack and instead justified the murders as being a result of the Pakistani government’s cooperation with the US against the Taliban.