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

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins 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.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid