Taliban attack rival militias in Pakistan

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has claimed credit for a suicide attack in Hangu and a bombing in Upper Dir, both of which targeted anti-Taliban militias.

In the district of Hangu, which borders the tribal areas of North Waziristan and Kurram, a suicide bomber targeted the headquarters of Maulvi Nabi Hanfi in the Spin Thall area, killing five children and four militiamen. Hanfi was previously a commander in the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, but “had parted ways with the organization upon developing some differences,” according to Dawn. Hanfi is a rival of Maulvi Noor Jamal, the Taliban commander for the Kurram tribal agency who is also known as Mullah Toofan.

Ihsanullah Ihsan, the spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, claimed credit for the suicide attack in an email sent to The Long War Journal, and described Hanfi’s group as “criminal.”

“We the mujahideen of TTP [Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] claim responsibility of Fidai [fedayeen] Attack on the Criminal group of Mullah Nabi,” Ihsan said. “We have conducted this attack against Mullah Nabi group as they have came out against Taliban in their area and formed an armed group against Taliban Mujahideen, They were allies of government & they have killed many of our mujahideen brothers.”

In Upper Dir, the Taliban killed three members of an anti-Taliban militia in an IED or roadside bombing attack against a van traveling in the Dhog Darra area. “Dhog Darra is considered the stronghold of an anti-Taliban militia set up by local people in Upper Dir district,” according to Geo News. Mullah Fazlullah, the Taliban commander for the Swat Valley, is known to operate in Upper Dir and along the Afghan-Pakistani border area. Fazlullah openly controlled the Swat Valley from 2007 until the Pakistani military launched an operation to oust him in 2009.

In the email sent to The Long War Journal, the Taliban spokesman also claimed credit for the Dir attack, and vowed to continue to target the militias and the government until sharia, or Islamic Law, was imposed in Pakistan.

“We also claim responsibility for attacks in Upper Dir on so called Peace Committee and caused heavy losses to them,” Ihsan said. “According to our sources 6-8 of their members were killed in this attack. We will target any ally of government and anyone who will put hurdles in the implementation of Shariah in Pakistan. We will Fight till the Dawn of Shariah appears in Pakistan InshaAllah.”

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has stepped up attacks against Pakistani security forces and anti-Taliban militias over the past several weeks. On July 16, a small assault team killed three policemen in an attack on a police station in Bannu, a district that borders North Waziristan. At the end of June, the Taliban captured 17 policemen in Dir, and executed them. The Taliban later released video of the beheaded soldiers.

Two other recent Taliban attacks have taken place in the eastern province of Punjab. On July 9, the Taliban attacked a military camp in Gurjat, near Lahore, and killed six soldiers and a policeman. And on July 12, a small team of Taliban fighters struck a police facility in Lahore, killing eight policemen and wounding nine more.

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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  • Gerry301 says:

    All for it. Let the Pakistanis attack each other. If the Taliban win the Government losses, if the anti Taliban win the Government loses. Only Afganistan wins.

  • Raj says:

    you gotta hand it to the pakistani taliban, they know how to take out their enemies mainly because they are relentless daring and willingness to do crazy things like suicide bombing in a mosque packed with worshipers as they praying

  • Vienna,July 22,2012
    Being a specialized journal, Mr.Roggio, the time
    may have come for you to evaluate the results of the
    opening of the Pakistan land routes to Afghanistan.
    I see it is a forward movement from Salal response
    at great cost to Pakistan.It looks to me Pakistanis have
    learned their lesson and silently begun to operate in
    Haqqani terrain.Karachi based Express Tribune reported
    today from Kabul, a response given by General Allen
    to a question on July 19 at a dinner table when the new
    Pakistani Prime Minister visited President Hamid Karzai
    that Afghan side border was under full alert! It took the Pakistani version of the International Herald Tribune
    more than three days to get via the circuitous route of
    Inter Services Public Relations Directorate and Ineter Services Intelligence, a response for the General AllenĀ“s comment from the Pakistani side. The response was a silent signal for the publication to publish the American GeneralĀ“s
    response without a Pakistani comment on it.Other reports
    from Pakistan say Pakistani air force is attacking Haqqani strong holds without much publicity. It appears some
    three hide outs were destroyed.What do you say, am I mistaken. I was indeed cut off from the world because
    of a connection glitch to the websites.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Baalakrishna


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