Taliban kill 25 Pakistani troops in cross-border attack

Earlier today, Taliban forces led by two powerful commanders crossed the border from Afghanistan, attacked military outposts, and killed more than 25 Pakistani security personnel, according to the Pakistani military. It also alleged that ISAF has failed to take action on large concentrations of Taliban operating in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan.

The fighting, which is said to be ongoing, began after upwards of 300 Taliban troops crossed the border from the northeastern Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan and attacked seven paramilitary Frontier Corps outposts in the district of Chitral in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistani military said in a press release. Two of the border outposts were overrun. The military claimed that 20 Taliban fighters were killed during the fighting.

“At least 25 Security forces personnel including 16 Frontier Scouts KPK, 4 Policemen and 5 Levies embraced shahadat [death] when 200-300 terrorists from across the border (Kunar and Nuristan Province) attacked 7 FC check posts in Chitral early this morning,” the military statement said. “Own [sic] security personnel defended the posts by engaging the attackers and reportedly 20 terrorists were killed. However, two border posts were overrun by the terrorists.”

The attacks were carried out by “terrorists from Swat, Dir, and Bajaur organized by [Mullah] Fazlullah and Maulvi Faqir Mohammad with local Afghans,” the statement continued. Mullah Fazlullah commands Taliban forces in the Swat Valley, while Faqir Mohammad leads the Taliban in the Bajaur tribal agency.

The Pakistani military claims that Fazlullah and Faqir have been driven from their areas of influence during military operations over the past several years, and are now operating from Afghanistan. The Pakistani military said Fazlullah and Faqir “have organized themselves in Kunar and Nuristan provinces” with the aid of “local Afghan authorities.”

“Due to scanty presence of NATO and ANA forces along Pak-Afghan border, the terrorists are using these areas as safe havens and have mounted repeated attacks against own security forces posts and isolated villages,” the Pakistani military said.

The Pakistani military also took a swipe at the International Security Assistance Force, claiming that intelligence was passed on to ISAF about the presence of Taliban units, but no action was taken.

“It is pertinent to mention that since last one year [sic] accurate intelligence about large concentration of terrorists from Pakistan and their local Afghan supporters in Kunar and Nuristan provinces has been shared with NATO and Afghan authorities but no worth while action has been taken against the terrorists and attack against Pakistani border posts have continued with impunity,” the Pakistani military claimed.

In the past, the Pakistani military has criticized the US for withdrawing from remote outposts in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan in 2009-2010.

Raids by the Taliban on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border have increased this year as the terror groups have expanded their footholds in the region [see LWJ report, Taliban step up cross-border attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan]. The Taliban have struck at Pakistani military outposts in Bajaur, Dir, and Chitral, as well as district centers in Kunar and Nuristan in Afghanistan.

In one of the larger attacks in Pakistan, 27 policemen and 45 Taliban fighters were killed during battles in the Shaltalu area of the district of Dir in the beginning of June. At least 16 policemen were captured and then brutally executed by the Taliban. A video of the execution was released on the Internet [see LWJ report, Video of brutal Taliban execution of Pakistani policemen emerges].

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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  • TEM says:

    The Pakistanis allowed the Taliban to be created and thrive in the radical madrassas located in their country.
    They supported the Taliban while they were in power and continue to provide support.
    Pakistan is responsible for the Taliban and now the guns have been turned back on them.
    The pakistanis are now reaping the fruit of their efforts.

  • Nic says:

    “It also alleged that ISAF has failed to take action on large concentrations of Taliban operating in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan.” An example of the pot calling the kettle black. May Pakistan burn in Hell.

  • Mirage says:

    What goes around, comes around, huh Pakistan?
    If you won’t attack your good taliban, why should we attack ours???

  • Mirage says:

    There are also reports that our al-qaeda friend Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was killed in a drone strike a few days ago

  • What arrogance by the Pakinstanis in their claims. Blame everybody but themselves for everything that happens. A sign of complete incompetence. Why weren’t those out posts fully staffed and armed to withstand such an onslaught. The Taliban involved probably were originally for Pakistan which ought to teach the Pakintanis a fact of life but it won’t they are too mucked up politically to straighten that out. When will the Pakinstanis learn that all insurgent groups are their enemies and that harbouring them will only cause more events like this in the future.

  • Max says:

    I don’t get it. Why would the Taliban attack a country that is their primary protector and sponsor? I realize that there are different groups with different aims, but it looks like they would understand that this was a stupid strategy that would undermine their goal of winning in Afghanistan.
    The only thing I can think of is maybe the ISI is sending their proxies to attack Pakistan as a strategic way to distract attention from their own doings as the controllers of the Taliban in Afghanistan and in Pakistan proper. Who really knows what is in the minds of these madmen?

  • mike merlo says:

    How quaint Pakistani ‘blowback!’ I wonder how long before the Pathans declare an independent Islamic Emirate of Nuristan, Kunar & Khyber Pakhtunkwa with an ‘eye’ to FATA? In the run up to the Partition of 1947 the Pathans had been pining for a nation of their own(see Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar). Obviously little has changed. On top of everything else Pakistan is dealing with a full blown secessionist movement besides a low intensity insurgency in Balochistan. Who knows with a little bit of luck and by virtue of default Communist China is going to get sucked into a Guerrilla campaign in the south west part of their country.

  • truth says:

    Actually the number is closer to 80 killed and about a dozen captured, the taliban appeared to have caught them by surprise big time, and they were no match. pakistan army was annihilated in the battle.
    the news internation
    relative of friend served in the chitral scouts, (poor guy died for a miserable salary)

  • gerry says:

    I wonder who supports the Afgan “Taliban” and their attacks. Certainly not the US or any highly trained Afgan special forces. Even if that is what special forces do. I believe this is the third cross border attack against pakistan in recent months. Almost unheard of before.

  • abrar says:

    It seems these thugs across the border in Afghanistan have been given a free hand. Who will benefit? Cannot be Pakistan.

  • Khalid bin Waleed says:

    Well, everything was calm and quiet in our western neighbourhood till the time NATO led war mongering western soldiers came along with their highend intelligence machinery. They got locals on their payroll with the power of greenback. As the interests of Pakistan and NATO conflict in Afghanistan, NATO has resorted to these brazen attacks on Pakistan’s western border checkposts. Local people even claim to have seen NATO helicopters flying in the area at the time of raid. Wise men say “What goes around comes around”. Happy hunting…………………………….. cowboys!

  • Eric says:

    General Kayani, we are saddened to hear of the attacks on your men by a militant wing that you fund with your own money.
    We are watching to see what you will do about this problem, which is not a new problem, as it has been occurring with increasing frequency since 2007.
    We can propose to cooperate with Pakistan’s army to bring the border regions under better control:
    The ISAF will not oppose the independent movements and combat actions of the Pakistani army which pursue and prosecute the militant fighters, including an agreement with the Afghan government to allow Pakistani forces to cross into afghanistan WITH IMPUNITY when it is opportune to do so. Further, ISAF will provide air reconnaisance and fire support to the Pakistani army when engaged with militant forces on both sides of the border, free of charge, whenever called upon.
    In return, Pakistan will allow ISAF troops to do the same. ISAF troops may engage and pursue militant fighters on both sides of the Af-Pak border WITH IMPUNITY when it is opportune to do so.
    General Kayani, your reasons for not agreeing to this are the true source of all of the problems you face. Not only some of the problems, but all of them.
    The Pakistani military high command does not want this war to end. Not with an elected government in a position of improving strength still in power. That is a recipe for losing billions of army dollars.
    Its not going to surprise us if Pakistan continues to fund and supply the Taliban operations against the ISAF in Afghanistan.

  • Hussain says:

    It is time for pakistan to send in the fighters jets and sort that area out

  • Bear says:


  • Villiger says:

    ‘As the interests of Pakistan and NATO conflict in Afghanistan, NATO has resorted to these brazen attacks on Pakistan’s western border checkposts. Local people even claim to have seen NATO helicopters flying in the area at the time of raid.”
    Wow, Khalid i sincerely hope you’re right! About bloody time too!! :-))

  • Soccer says:

    “truth”, can you actually show a source to that please?
    I’m sorry he died, this war is a very bloody and brutal war.

  • Soccer says:

    Khalid Bin Waleed,
    You MUST provide evidence to support your claim that there were NATO helicopters in the area, and that NATO is responsible for this attack.
    Please don’t be like the Taliban and jihadist outlets where you make a bunch of unsubstantiated claims and expect stupid people to believe them because it serves your agenda.
    Oh, and also, you need a lesson in geography. FATA/NWFP is in North-Western Pakistan, not Western Pakistan as you claim. Baluchistan is in Western Pakistan.

  • Mr T says:

    Khalid might need a lesson about 9-11 as well. He has his facts mixed up. Perhaps too much Taliban indoctrination.

  • Zeissa says:

    As much as I hate the Punjabi-dominated Pakistan, I have to agree their wildly hypocritical complaints have at least one point:
    NATO isn’t bombing masses of fighters crossing the border and camps of fighters in these two provinces, for reasons of RoE.

  • Zeissa says:

    Personally I don’t think adding all of Pashtunistani components to Afghanistan would be a very clever idea, the Pashtun’s in Pakistan hate their overlords right now, but they may quickly forget like the ones in Afghanistan. Since the Pashtun’s tend to be very conservative it would be safer to lop off the existing Pashtun parts of Afghanistan and you would end up with a more tolerant Afghanistan.
    A Pashtunistan made up of all its component parts would be problematic, but at least it would allow for ethnic and some linguistic homogenity and would focus a particular problem in one place.
    + then it’d be easy to create an independent Baluchistan and let India absorb Punjab and maybe Sindh (or Sindh could be independent).
    And since I’m already daydreaming of a New World Order I want a pony as well.
    Realistically, though?
    1st Alternative: ‘Convince’ the Afghan government (as the US has signed a very unrealistic treaty to not use mines) to accept the loss of southern Pashtunistan and intensively mine the Afghan-Pakistani border. Mines are cost efficient, mines are suffocating in the same way the Jerusalem wall works, it can completely stop movement. This is not a violation of human rights, plenty of countries have inconvenienced their peoples by restricting cross-border movement, and the usage of mines has a long and successful history and is acceptable to control borders in a time of war (first big war you see and the mines will all be out again). Mines can limit the movement over the border to a few heavily controlled main roads, airspace, and the odd tunnel. I’m aware Afghanistan’s other borders aren’t too good either, but controlling the southern border is the most important.
    So that’s 1. Mine the border.
    2nd Alternative: Agent Provocateur: Provoke an Indian-Pakistani war and support India.
    Leave the heavy lifting to India, who a couple of times have been stopped by international opinion (and the fact they don’t want more overpopulated and muslim provinces). India is currently surrounded by China (with a nearly x4 nominal economy (it’s more like 2-3 in comparative terms though (PPP)) and Pakistan on two fronts and this will help balance the power.
    Not sure whether the Indians would actually want Sindh and Punjab, or whether they’d make them 1-2 smaller nations, but they’d probably be willing to let Baluchistan go free and for the NWFP to go to Afghanistan (though this would create the problem of a conservative majority in Afghanistan, though that might also be stabilizing).
    Iran and China would have to be kept at arm’s length though. My guess is China would put considerable but not critical effort into stopping this and could be compensated somewhat by Indian recognition of their Kashmiri territory (and other non-recognized de-facto Chinese territories) and ‘humanitarian/corporate’ technology transfer projects from the West.
    So that’s 2: Provoke a war between India and Pakistan.
    Alternative 3: Containment
    The current Western strategy is partly one of containment, but it is not succeeding very well. Pakistan is a well-known salesman of nuclear technologies and an exporter of terror.
    The alternative here is to ramp up the containment effort, stop sending them money, cut them off from various international organs and so on, though this would have the effect of driving them into China’s arms… though I am surmising that will not be a pleasant experience for them. Plus I’m Half-Chinese and I wouldn’t mind having Pakistan’s relationship with us upgraded from slightly groveling client to full-on bitch to the degree we could probably tell them to quit their militancy (… including the movement between Pakistan and China…).
    So that’s 3… an ACTUAL strategy of containment rather than the carrot and rubber mallet (stick) strategy which is currently failing.
    4. A Carrot and stick strategy where the rubber mallet is replaced with a wooden mallet, if not an iron one. I don’t think this idea needs explanation, as it’s what the US has been doing for quite some time with a styrofoam stick.
    5. Insurgency
    Play Pakistan’s game and support the insurgents we like to the hilt. The Balochis in particular as they have some secular aspirations, but possibly the Pushtuns and others as well. Pakistan is already fraying at the ends, I am not sure if they could handle a sustained rebellion, they certainly weren’t able to deal with Bangladesh revolting. The difficult part is if the West might need to nip the nukes first and either make the people revolting strong enough to face off massive army divisions or find some way to keep the majority of units away from the fight, the way they were seperated by sea from Bangladesh.
    So that’s 5, insurgency.
    However, such plans all take considerable aforethought, and with the 4-year election cycle and decades to go before the West rinses off its nonsensical guilt over Germany (and some other racialist fascist (I’m semi-fascist myself so I’m mainly attacking the full-on fascists and especially the racialists here) trying to kill off its liberalism twice.
    That’s 5! strategies that have a long history of historical success, all of which are considerable better than the current strategy of a carrot and a small stick (I would call it a faux or no stick at all, but the fact is Pakistan is under moderate diplomatic pressure).
    1. Mine the Pashtun Border
    2. Agent Provocateur (partition)
    3. Containment (as with NK/Iran)
    4. Carrot AND Stick
    5. Support Insurgency
    But there’s also 6, which we can all partake in effectively…
    Help convince fellow citizens that Christian-inspired Western humanism while exceedingly successful in creating a more peaceful and prosperous world, has, ever since the weakening of the intolerant and moralist aspects of religion (as a partly good thing I mean) with the rise of atheist/agnostic humanism and the anti-war movement in the wake of the two world wars has, being enabled and enchanced by the growing powers of media, created an athmosphere of Western disgust with itself.
    This is why we cannot kill pirates, as much as the naval exercises are useful. This is why even totalitarian governments these days are afraid to take effective action.
    The West must relearn that sometimes the sanctity of human life cannot be respected when other lives, or the money to equal other lives (I believe statistics has roughly 2+ million dollars equaling a human life (which is totally fair, because it costs money to create, maintain, improve and save lives), are at stake.
    At the very least the worship of Vita (life) should be limited to not support the sanctity of those who actively aim to end the life of others.

  • Eric says:

    What color pony do you want?

  • Zeissa says:

    I think a grey one would be nice… maybe with pegasus-esque wings. ^^

  • Spooky says:

    Your ideas Zeissa are….nonsense, frankly.
    As for the losses, its sad, but shows the Pakistan is not capable of taking care of them. Alas, so long as that Army remains in control of Pakistan, it will always take umbrage at what it thinks matters, as opposed to what does matter.
    Back Balochistan, and be prepared to do the work ourselves. Yes its more money, yes its more blood. But it’s also more concrete and longer lasting dividends than this bogus war in Afghanistan.


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