Pakistan claims 25 Taliban fighters killed in Mohmand airstrikes

Omar Khalid, the Taliban commander of Mohmand agency.

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.

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

  • Civy says:

    “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.”
    Yeah, seems like the Pak Army is taking quality control lessons from Toyota. “The brakes are fixed. Everything’s fixed. Everything’s fine.”
    Two non-credible entities, the Paks and the Talabs issuing press statements nobody believes. Save your breath until you can deliver.

  • Charles says:

    The pakistani army & ISI would not have an interest in being taken over by the taliban as the pakistani army & ISI are not pashtun dominated. So any threat by the taliban to take over pakistan would also be tribal threat.
    While the taliban might have institutional loyalties to AQ–it looks like –judging by where OBL was located–the loyalties of the ISI & the military to OBL & through him –AQ– were more personal in nature.
    Therefor with OBL’s departure, the ISI’s & the military’s loyalty to AQ is broken.
    The Pakistanis are not really happy with the USA. By all appearances they would not mind doing the things needed to hasten the departure of the USA from Afghanistan. That would include taking out Al Zawahiri. (But not the
    local boys on hillary’s hit list.)

  • Charles says:

    If the Pakistanis help take out Al Zawahiri–there is less rationale for the US to stay.
    Qaeda Woes Fuel Talk of Speeding Afghan Pullback
    //www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/world/asia/19policy.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
    According to the article: The US had a list of 30 AQ they wanted removed back in 2009. 20 of them have been taken out.
    Intelligence from OBL’s files suggest that AQ in the af/pak theatre is down but not out.

  • blert says:

    Charles…
    Wake up.
    The entire economy of Pakistan is ADDICTED to Long War Money.
    Period.
    Islamabad collects almost no taxes! In that, it mirrors Greece.
    The ISI and the army are expected to be self-funding. This is VERY common in the 3rd world.
    China and Egypt both have similar arrangements.
    These armies run the economy.
    ——
    The various gloves of the ISI ( AQ, Taliban, … ) exist purely for the purpose of deniability. The ISI stands up new sham cover insurgencies at will.
    Beyond that, each separate face of the ISI permits fresh titles to be handed out and partitions knowledge.
    The capture of all of OBLs computers is a total disaster for the ISI. At some point the network of contacts is going to be filled in.

  • Charles says:

    Bert
    If it were all about money, then the better deal for the ISI and the military is to go into the mining business.
    But you might be right. Like old mafia, the shake down business is all they know–and come hell or high water–they don’t care to learn another business.
    ………
    The dead hand of the Chinese PLA is on Burma and North Korea but not on the Chinese economy. That’s a CPC responsibility.

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