The Taliban launched two rocket and mortar attacks on Pakistani Army bases in North Waziristan today, killing three soldiers and wounding nearly two dozen. Press Trust of India reports:
Suspected Taliban militants attacked an Independence Day parade at an army camp in North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan on Sunday, killing three soldiers and injuring 22 more.
The attack was carried out in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan Agency.
Four rockets hit the Scouts Fort while security personnel were holding an Independence Day parade, security officials said.
The Taliban also tried to kill Pakistani troops at the military base in Ramzak.
In a separate incident, two rockets were fired at a military base at Razmak, a key town in North Waziristan. There were no reports of casualties in the second attack.
The attacks were likely carried out by the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP), the al Qaeda-linked group under the control of Hakeemullah Mehsud. Many of the TTP’s top leadership and fighters who were based in South Waziristan have been sheltering in North Waziristan since the Pakistani Army launched an offensive in late 2009 in the Mehsud tribal areas of South Waziristan. The TTP has received shelter from North Waziristan Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar and the Haqqani Network. Bahadar and the Haqqanis are considered “good Taliban” by the Pakistani government and military because they do not openly attack the state. These groups do, however, support a host of Pakistani terror groups, the Afghan Taliban, and al Qaeda.
In late July, Bahadar denied reports that he ejected the TTP and other “militants” from his tribal areas.
The Pakistani military refuses to conduct an operation in North Waziristan to take on the TTP, al Qaeda, and other terror groups based there, despite the fact that many attacks against the Pakistani state (as well as against the West, India, Afghanistan, and other Central Asian countries) emanate from that tribal agency.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.