The Pakistani Taliban executed the leader of a large anti-Taliban militia operating on the outskirts of Peshawar. The full story, from Dawn, is below:
The bullet-riddled bodies of an anti-Taliban militia commander and three of his associates were dumped in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, police said.
The bodies of Fahimud Din, 50, chief of a 1,500-strong vigilante force in Bazidkhel on the outskirts of Peshawar, and three of his associates were found in a Toyota Land Cruiser on the city’s ring road.
“We found the bodies around 7:00 am (0200 GMT). Four of them had been shot at close range,” senior police official Asif Iqbal told AFP.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. According to police, relatives had not heard from Din since Tuesday when he went to Islamabad for work.
Police said Din survived at least three suicide bombings and several roadside bomb attacks blamed on the Taliban and warlord Mangal Bagh who leads the Lashkar-e-Islam militia in the adjoining Khyber tribal district.
On June 12, two of his bodyguards were killed in a suicide attack that targeted his vehicle. Din survived because he had not been in the car.
While the Pakistani police are blaming Mangal Bagh’s Lashkar-e-Islam for the execution, it was likely carried out by the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which operates in and around Peshawar and has conducted numerous attacks and suicide bombings against anti-Taliban militias in the area.
Militia leaders around Peshawar have threatened to disband and join the Taliban because the Pakistani government has refused to support them. In one case, the militia said the military seized their weapons.
As we noted in 2008 and 2009, the Pakistani government provides only minimal support for such militias operating in the northwest. [See LWJ reports, Pakistan engages the tribes in effort to fight the Taliban, from September 2008; and Anti-Taliban tribal militia leader assassinated in Pakistan’s northwest, from July 2009.]
Little has changed since those reports. Despite Pakistani military operations in the tribal areas, the Taliban still maintain an advantage over the militias due to the government’s lack of material support for the militias, poor to non-existent coordination with security forces, and the absence of an integrated support network between the militias.
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