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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs