Taliban kill Bajaur opposition leader, target Peshawar leader


A security guard stands near the bodies of three Taliban fighters, who were shot dead while attempting to assassinate the mayor of the Bazid Khel area of Peshawar on Nov. 15, 2009. Reuters photo.

The Taliban continue their campaign to remove tribal opposition leaders in the Northwest. A leader who agreed to fight the Taliban in Bajaur was killed, while another anti-Taliban leader escaped an assassination attempt in Peshawar.

In Bajaur, the Taliban killed Malik Shir Zaman, a tribal leader who signed an agreement with the government. Zaman had agreed to raise a lashkar, or tribal militia, to oppose the Taliban. The Taliban stormed Zaman’s home and destroyed part of it. Zaman was killed in a gunfight.

Zaman was from the Mamond tribal area, a region that serves as a 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.

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

The Taliban have successfully targeted tribal opposition in Mamond in the recent past. On Oct. 3, the Taliban assassinated Malik Abdul Majeed as he traveled to to meet with government officials to discuss efforts to beat back the Taliban in the Mamond areas.

Guards repel assassination attempt of tribal leader in Peshawar

In Peshawar, Taliban fighters disguised as women in burkas attacked the home of Mohammad Fahim Khan, the mayor of Bazid Khel in Peshawar. Khan opposes the Taliban and raised a tribal militia to keep the Islmaist fighters out of his town.

Khan’s bodyguards detected the attack and repelled it. Three Taliban fighters were killed in the battle; the rest eventually retreated.

This is not the first attempt at Khan’s life; he has been targeted in several previous assassination attempts.

“Militants have exploded three bombs near my house, killing innocent people, and they have opened fire on me several times but have failed so far,” Khan told Dawn. “These attacks will not weaken my resolve against militants.”

Last week, the Taliban managed to kill another mayor near Peshawar who opposed the group. On Nov. 8, a suicide bomber killed Abdul Malik and 11 others in an attack at a market in Matni.

The Taliban have responded viciously to efforts by tribal leaders to oppose the spread of extremism in the tribal areas. Tribal opposition has been violently attacked and defeated in Bannu, Peshawar, Arakzai, Khyber, North and South Waziristan, and previously in Swat and Dir. Suicide bombers have struck at tribal meetings held at mosques, schools, hotels, and homes.

The Taliban often have a numerical advantage over the tribes, and Taliban fighters are better trained after battling government forces in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. In addition, the tribes have often been hesitant to work with the Pakistani government and military.

Lashkars are having some limited success in Dir and Swat, however, after the military took on the Taliban in these two districts beginning in late April. Thousands of lashkar fighters have been raised in Swat, and hundreds of Taliban fighters have turned up dead. Both the lashkars and the military are being blamed for the executions.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • Nissonic says:

    Al queada opens a new terrorist training camp in Yemen. Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq were too troublesome…
    Can America go everywhere in the world and wipe everyone out? How is that possible?
    Al queada is not a territory…its an international organization and It will be difficult to wipe it out entirely…

  • arvadadan says:

    “hundreds of Taliban fighters have turned up dead. Both the lashkars and the military are being blamed for the executions”
    What is the problem with dead Taliban, as long as
    they a face down in the dirt all is well!!

  • malangjan says:

    To say that what is problem with Taliban executed by Pak army or sponsered tribal lashkars is something close to the thinkings of Taliban. There shall be some difference between terrorists(suppose Taliban & Pak army). Those who are not moved by suffering or killings of fellow human beings are worst than terrorists. For the information of readers of LWJ, a Talib terrorists leader of Bajawer area Muhammad Faqir(mentioned above) was not born terrorist. Rather Pak army created this ruthless terrorist by torturing to death his brother who used to work for ISI/MI in the past. If US & West are realy interested in fighting terrorism, they shall seriously consider dismentlling Pakistan and converting its army into Police Force. But unfortunately West is doing the exact opposite. They are sponsering Pak army by providing them high tech weapons, nuclear bombs & billion of dollars. Rest assure many 9/11s to come & many Faqirs to come you way, if US/West follow the same path.

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/16/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  • Bungo says:

    Malangjan said : “They are sponsering Pak army by providing them high tech weapons, nuclear bombs…”
    Really !?!? The U.S. is providing nuclear weapons to Pakistan !?!? I’ve never heard this before. You must have some Awesome intelligence contacts.
    Oh yeah, and by the way, fighting some sort of politically correct war against terrorists is a losers game that will go on indefinitely. The only way to defeat these vermin is to take it to them at least twice as hard as they take it to you. The Columbians beat the Narco-Terrorists by going after the terrorists families, bankers and lawyers. The Russians won in Chechnya by out-terrorizing the terrorists. This is how it’s done. If you can’t do this then you are doomed to fight forever just like the Israelis.

  • T Ruth says:

    Bungo, and maybe you ARE doomed to fight forever in this region given the various unique characteristics. 8 yrs on its as good as forever when you take stock of what has (not) been achieved.
    As for the US and Pak nukes, Pak has clearly had indirect support, if not direct. And i can’t imagine the West was not involved in the supply of critical components in the past.


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