Slain medical workers likely killed by Pakistani Taliban fighters

An investigation into the murder of 10 medical workers in the northern province of Badakhshan indicates that Taliban fighters, some possibly from Pakistan, were behind the attack. Both the Taliban and Hizb-i-Islami claimed to have carried out the brutal executions. And it appears those who carried out the attack were attempting to return to Barg-e-Matal in Nuristan, the district on the Pakistani border that has switched hands between the government and the Taliban several times this year. The Pakistani Taliban have been involved in the fighting in Barg-e-Matal. From the AP:

It appears from accounts of survivors that the gunmen came from the Barg-e-Matal district of Nuristan which is closer to the Pakistani border. Insurgent infiltration has increased in that area since the U.S. abandoned small combat outposts that proved too difficult to defend and resupply.

Safiullah told investigators he believes the lead gunman was Pakistani because he yelled “Jadee! Jadee!” – a word used in several regional languages that means “hurry up.” It is more commonly used in Pakistan and India than Afghanistan. He said all the attackers understood Dari and Pashto, the two main languages spoken in Afghanistan, but conversed in Pashaye, a local dialect used only in parts of the northeast corner of Afghanistan.

Safiullah was taken hostage by the attackers and said they walked toward a flashing light that Safiullah said was meant to guide them to a village near Barg-e-Matal, scene of heavy fighting in recent weeks between government forces and militants who crossed over from Pakistan.

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

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5 Comments

  • anan says:

    Don’t know what Jadee means.
    Maybe you meant “jaldee”?

  • TD says:

    Like Anan already commented: “jaldee” would be indicative of an Urdu-/Punjabi-speaker. Other than that I find this article lacking the usual quality: The people of this area see themselves primarily as Pathans, imho the reason why there will never be more than a short-term success possible in Afghanistan.
    A different issue is, that Pakistan is the “rear echelon” for the majority of fighters active in the whole of the Eastern region of Afghanistan, but that has been known since 1979…

  • Paul D says:

    Is it me or the Taliban seem alot more popular in Pakistan than they do in Afghanistan?

  • TD says:

    One could say, it´s a question of numbers, Paul: There are roughly 40 Million Pathans in the world, 26 Million of whom live in Pakistan, whereas “only” about 12 Million are counted as Afghans. IMHO your perception is more based in the fact, that the Pathans, oversimplified, are fighting the Afghan government, whereas their “brothers” in Pakistan are accepted as a forcebrokers by the Pakistan government. They are used to project Pakistani security policy into Afghanistan.

  • TD says:

    P.S.: In an interview of the surviving Afghan I´d come about (//www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20100814/afghan-medical-team-100814/), matters cleared up: The “commander” in fact did use the urdu word “jaldi”. Another indicator, that these were not local Taliban is, that they left two intact vehicles: It would have been next to impossible to ferry them back to Pakistan.

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