The Pakistani military claimed it killed 25 Taliban fighters during airstrikes in the Mohmand tribal agency. Four of its soldiers were killed and eight more were wounded. From the press release by Pakistan military’s Inter-Services Public Relations:
A joint operation of Pakistan Army/FC KPK/PAF to evict terrorists stronghold of “Walidad” in Mohmand Agency was launched on 18 June 2011. Ground operation was preceded with precise strikes by PAF Air Craft’s on terrorists bunkers and positions on “Walidad Top”. After an intense fight, troops were able to secure “Walidad Top” and surrounding areas of the mountain and managed to kill 25 terrorists, while remaining fled across the border. During the operation own 4 soldiers embraced shahadat and 8 were injured.
The Pakistani military has claimed it has defeated the Taliban in Mohmand and the neighboring tribal agency of Bajaur several times over the past couple of years.
Mohmand is the tribal agency that is ruled by Movement of the Taliban leader Omar Khalid (who, interestingly enough, is now going by the name Omar Khalid Khorasani). Khalid is deputy of Hakeemullah Mehsud’s Taliban movement. Khalid is considered one of the Taliban’s most effective and powerful leaders in the tribal areas. He also maintains close ties to al Qaeda and is believed to have given sanctuary to Ayman al Zawahiri in the past.
Khalid has been active in the Taliban’s propaganda machine since the death of Osama bin Laden. In mid-May, Khalid vowed revenge on Pakistani and US forces for the death of Osama bin Laden. In early June, Khalid said the Taliban have been behind the spate of attacks in Pakistan. But even more interesting, Khalid said that Ayman al Zawahiri is al Qaeda’s “chief and supreme leader” after bin Laden’s death. Khalid made the statement more than a week before al Qaeda officially named Zawahiri as its emir.
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