News / Asia

Pakistan Military Captures Taliban Commander

Pakistani soldier stands by ammunition seized during a military operation against Taliban militants, Miranshah, North Waziristan, July 9, 2014.
Pakistani soldier stands by ammunition seized during a military operation against Taliban militants, Miranshah, North Waziristan, July 9, 2014.
Reuters

The Pakistani military has captured a Taliban commander who once tried to blow up former president Pervez Musharraf, security officials said Tuesday.

Adnan Rashid’s capture came as part of a military offensive that triggered a gunfight Tuesday in North Waziristan, leaving three Pakistani soldiers and six Taliban militants dead. 

Rashid was seized Friday in South Waziristan in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border. He’s the first well-known Taliban commander arrested since the military launched an offensive in neighboring North Waziristan last month.

He was injured in a shootout at the house where he was living with his family in the Wana area, officials said.

The Pakistan army has said it will drive Taliban insurgents from their regional strongholds. On Tuesday, it indicated it would expand its offensive farther north into the Bajaur tribal region.

The Pakistani Taliban, meanwhile, said it would continue to ramp up attacks on Pakistani security forces in Bajaur, along the Afghan border.

Former officer, failed suicide bomber

Rashid, believed to be in his mid-30s, is a former Pakistani air force officer. He was jailed after his 2003 attempt to blow up then-President Musharraf in a suicide bombing.

He escaped from jail in 2012 along with nearly 400 other militants. He later claimed responsibility for masterminding another jailbreak that freed 250 prisoners.

Rashid also made a series of YouTube videos and wrote an open letter attempting to justify the assassination attempt on schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai.

The Pakistan military's offensive follows NATO allies’ years of pressure on Islamabad to crack down on Taliban havens in North Waziristan.

Since the offensive began a month ago, the military has seized control of Miranshah, the North Waziristan capital. It claims to have killed hundreds of militants.

Mortal combat

Tuesday’s gun battle, which killed three Pakistani soldiers and six Taliban militants, took place in the North Waziristan village of Fateh Khel.

The Taliban have killed more than a dozen security troops in Bajaur in the past two months, a military official said.

In a sign that the violence may spread, two senior members of the Pakistani Taliban told Reuters the attacks were a response to the offensive.

The military has decided to launch another, more limited offensive in Bajaur and asked some residents to vacate their houses and villages.

“We decided to take action against the terrorists and the local people sheltering them in Bajaur.

The operation has been planned in five villages along the Afghan border,” a senior government official told Reuters.

That offensive is expected to displace 25,000 people, he said.

More disruption, dislocation

Local villagers complained that they had already been ordered to leave the area in 2008.

“When we returned in 2012, our houses had been flattened but the government didn't give us even a penny to rebuild our destroyed homes,” said Shahkirullah Khan, a resident.

Residents near where Rashid was captured in South Waziristan said leaflets – purportedly from the Taliban – were being circulated, blaming the capture on some local Taliban commanders and promising vengeance.

In recent months, the Pakistani Taliban - always an uneasy alliance of competing militias - has been beset by infighting.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (1)
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
July 15, 2014 8:25 PM
EVERYBODY WINS? ... This was the old Tribal and British way of fighting wars with their enemies, (by warning the residents and combatants), that the British troops would attack on a certain day, so anybody that didn't want to fight would leave.... and since the troops can't stay, the residents and combatants can return when the troops pull out, and then, both sides can claim victory, and save face....... PS; The US gave (6) months notice they would attack, to Kandahar Afghan residents and Taliban combatants, and (nobody) remembers the great battle they had, do you? ....... REALLY

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid