News

Militant Ambush Kills 2 Pro-Taliban Prisoners in Pakistan

Two detained aides of a radical Islamic cleric in Pakistan were killed early Saturday when a military convoy carrying prisoners hit a roadside bomb and came under fire in the northwest of the country. The Pakistani military says it is possible the prisoners were the target of the attack.

As soon as news of the attack was reported, there was speculation among Pakistan political analysts and reporters that the prisoners - Muhammad Alam and Ameer Izzat - were killed to prevent them from being interrogated.

Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told reporters on Saturday he could neither confirm nor deny the speculation.

"I won't rule out that, whether they were targeted or killed on purpose.  But there could be a possibility of that.  But there are a number of daily IED [improvised explosive device] incidents in this area, so maybe this was a targeting the military convoy because the signature is very huge.  Where ever the military convoy is moving, the signature is huge," he said.

Abbas said the prisoners were provided as much security as possible given the circumstances of the region and the resources of the army.

"We cannot ensure complete security or complete protection of the entire area.  And we do not have the kind of equipment which can completely ensure the jamming of the complete area against the IED attacks.  So these are common incidents in the area in which our soldiers and officers are also losing lives," he said.

The prisoners were arrested Thursday. Their leader, Sufi Mohammed, was also reported to have been detained this week, but the military denied that report.  Mohammed negotiated the failed agreement with the government to impose strict Islamic law in Swat, which was criticized as a capitulation to Pakistan's extremists.

The capture of Alam and Izzat was heralded as good news from Pakistan's security forces, who have claimed key gains in their month-long effort to eject Taliban militants from the region.

But Abbas said that total victory in Swat could only be declared when top Taliban leaders have been killed - something that has not yet happened.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs