Taliban behead 7 Pakistani soldiers: report

The Taliban claimed to have killed 17 Pakistani soldiers in an attack in the northern district of Upper Dir yesterday. Seven of the soldiers are reported to have been beheaded.

Pakistani officials said that more than 100 Taliban fighters had crossed the border from Afghanistan and clashed with Pakistani troops, according to Dawn. Six soldiers were killed and 11 more were captured by the Taliban fighters. Intelligence intercepts indicate that seven of the soldiers were beheaded; the bodies have not been recovered, however.

Sirajuddin Ahmad, a spokesman for the Malakand Taliban, which operate under the command of Mullah Fazlullah, claimed credit for the attack and said 17 soldiers were killed.

"Our fight will continue until the establishment of sharia law in Pakistan .... We will fight whoever tries to stand in our way," Ahmad told Reuters.

Two major Taliban groups operate in the region, one commanded by Qari Zai Rahman, and another by Mullah Fazlullah.

Qari Zai Rahman is the dual-hatted Taliban and al Qaeda leader who operates in Pakistan's tribal agencies of Bajaur and Mohmand, as well as in Afghanistan's provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. ISAF and Afghan forces have been hunting Rahman for more than a year.

Mullah Fazlullah commands the Taliban forces in the district of Swat, which borders Dir to the east. Fazlullah's forces openly ruled Swat and neighboring districts from 2007 until April 2009, when the Pakistani military launched an operation to eject the Taliban. Fazlullah and most of his top leaders evaded the operation, however, and have since sheltered along the Afghan-Pakistani border, particularly in Upper and Lower Dir and in Kunar province in Afghanistan.

Kunar and neighboring Nuristan province in Afghanistan have become safe havens for the Taliban and a host of terror groups since the US withdrew from combat outposts starting in 2009.

The Pakistani Taliban routinely videotape executions of their captives. The most recent high-profile execution, which was recorded in a videotape that was later distributed, took place in June 2011, when the Taliban captured 16 Pakistani policemen in Dir, lined them up, and executed them via firing squad.

The policemen had been captured after the Taliban crossed the border from Kunar province in Afghanistan and attacked police outposts and villages in the Shaltalu area on June 1, 2011. The raid sparked a pitched battle that lasted for several days. Dozens of Pakistani policemen were taken hostage during the ensuing fighting. Although Pakistani officials claimed that 27 policemen and 45 Taliban fighters were killed during the raid, independent news reports put the number of policemen killed at more than 40. [See LWJ report, Video of brutal Taliban execution of Pakistani policemen emerges.]

In February 2011, Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, released a videotape of the execution of a former Pakistani military intelligence official known as Colonel Imam. Although Imam, a senior officer in Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, was a favorite of the Afghan Taliban for his support of Mullah Omar, the Pakistani Taliban accused him spying against the terror group. [See LWJ report, Video: Pakistani Taliban execute Colonel Imam.]


READER COMMENTS: "Taliban behead 7 Pakistani soldiers: report"

Posted by mike merlo at June 25, 2012 12:35 PM ET:

its gratifying to read the Paki's getting a taste of their home brew

Posted by Dave at June 25, 2012 1:34 PM ET:

Where's the outrage, Pakistan?

Posted by Kulamarva Balakrishna at June 25, 2012 1:49 PM ET:

Vienna,June 25,2012
It is a situation when a divided Pakistani establishment
facing a challenge,which it may not be able to handle.
Pakistan has for all purposes closed land routes to the
NATO supplies but it does keep open the same routes
to Taliban forces.I am reminded to the explosion in
the last days of General Zia ul Haq. Is it a lesson for
Gen.Kayani has to be seen.His photos have more or
less disappeared from Pakistani media in any case.His
adversaries of the establishment are engaged in several
battles with judiciary linked the Defense Housing Authority,
DHA dole out.The new Prime Minister, the interior minister
renamed as President´s adviser on interior issue are
making noise.How come the judiciary avoids biting the
President direct without the instrumentality of the Prime
Minister is intriguing. Is the country getting deeper
and deeper in its Afghanistan strategic depth hole?
May be it is the question begging answer.
Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
--Kulamarva Balakrishna

Posted by Charu at June 25, 2012 2:13 PM ET:

I suppose that this is the "bad" Taliban. If the Pakistanis think that they can ride their jihadi tiger, well, guess again! We don't care anymore if they end up in the belly of their own beast.

Posted by Gerald at June 25, 2012 3:12 PM ET:

So those were the "Bad" Taliban right? Hard to tell them apart nowadays.

Posted by Don at June 26, 2012 12:42 AM ET:

No reports yet on whether or not the PAKs are demanding an apology, or shutting down ground traffic to/from the FATA. PAK reportedly contemplating obtaining a spin transplant.

Stay tuned for developments...

Posted by Ghost Soldier at June 26, 2012 11:51 AM ET:

Qari Zia Rahman does not operate in Nuristan.

Posted by Devin Leonard at June 26, 2012 4:59 PM ET:

Nice to see the Paki's are doing so well. Maybe they should "train up" and try taking the fight to the enemy instead of whining about the US all the time.

Posted by Charles at June 27, 2012 1:05 AM ET:

I viewed the video of non-uniformed men being executed in Shaltalu when it appeared about a year ago. As I recall, they are standing in a line waiting for the gunshots. It took guts for them to maintain their dignity in the face of the shooters.

By the time the video begins, it was too late. But I have often wondered if there was anything they might have done to give that day a different end.

Posted by sundoesntrise at June 27, 2012 6:57 PM ET:

I remember that too when Bill posted a series of videos of gruesome Taliban executions, they all happened in the span of 2 months I think.

It's a good thing there's no video footage of this, it seems, so some sick creeps on the Internet won't get all excited when they see the Taliban "killing traitors" as they like to put it... bunch of keyboard warriors don't even know the situation over there and so they just assume the people being executed work for the U.S. and traitors, when really all these people want is safety and security for their family & country.

The Taliban are absolute cowards, perhaps when someone catches Mullah Omar it would only be right if he was beaten to death on camera? The he would know what his thousands of victims felt like.