The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan claimed credit for executing 15 paramilitary Frontier Constabulary personnel who were captured two weeks ago.
The naked bodies of the 15 Frontier Constabulary personnel were dumped in the town of Shiwa in the Miramshah area of Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan, according to The Associated Press.
The spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, Ihsanullah Ihsan, said that the 15 soldiers were executed in retaliation for a Pakistani military operation in the Khyber tribal agency on Jan. 1 that killed 12 Taliban. Among those killed in Khyber was Qari Kamran, a senior commander in Nowshera who was responsible for the the murders of scores of Pakistani soldiers, policemen, and civilians in the northwest [see LWJ report, Pakistani troops kill dangerous Taliban commander].
The 15 troops were captured on Dec. 22, 2011 during a Taliban assault on a fort in the settled district of Tank, which borders South Waziristan. One soldier was killed during the assault. The next day, seven Frontier Corps troopers were killed in a suicide attack in the settled district of Bannu [see LWJ report, Taliban suicide bomber kills 7 Pakistani troops].
Ihsanullah Ihsan said the Dec. 22 and 23 attacks were carried out to avenge the death of Taj Gul Mehsud, a senior deputy to Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Taj Gul was killed along with 12 other fighters in a US airstrike in South Waziristan on Oct. 26 [see LWJ report, Taliban avenge death of commander killed in October drone strike].
The execution of the Pakistani troops took place just days after four major Taliban factions joined a council known as the Shura-e-Murakeba [see LWJ report, Al Qaeda brokers new anti-US Taliban alliance in Pakistan and Afghanistan]. The new alliance consists of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, the Haqqani Network, and the independent Taliban factions led by Mullah Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadar. The alliance was brokered by al Qaeda’s Abu Yahya al Libi and Siraj Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani Network. Mullah Omar, the head of all of the Taliban, pushed for the formation of the group.
According to a pamphlet released in North Waziristan that announced the formation of the Shura-e-Murakeba, the members would cease attacks on security forces, and end criminal activities such as kidnapping and extortion. But Ihsanullah Ihsan denied that the shura said that attacks on Pakistani troops must cease, and he vowed to continue to strike at security forces.
In the past, the Taliban have executed large numbers of captured Pakistani soldiers. The most infamous execution took place in early June 2011 in the Shaltalu area of the district of Dir in northwestern Pakistan, when the Taliban executed 16 Pakistani policemen. The execution was videotaped; the policemen were lined up and then gunned down by Taliban fighters wielding AK-47s. Those who survived the initial volley of fire were gunned down as Taliban fighters yelled Allahu Akbar, or god is greatest [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.