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Posts Tagged ‘Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan

Terrorists attack Jinnah Hospital

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* Four terrorists donning police uniforms attack emergency, ICU wards, kill 5 people
* Attack considered bid to free arrested terrorist who was injured in attack on Ahmedis
* Terrorists ‘flee in Elite Force vehicle’

LAHORE: At least five people, including a woman, were killed when at least four unidentified terrorists stormed various wards of Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital late on Monday night.

Reports said the attack was an attempt to free a terrorist, who was under treatment at the hospital after being arrested following Friday’s attacks on a Ahmedis’ prayer facility in Model Town’s C-block.

The terrorists, who were in police uniform, entered the emergency ward of Jinnah Hospital after killing two security guards and two police officials manning the main gate.

The assailants then entered the emergency ward from three sides firing indiscriminately. The attackers also took several patients, doctors and paramedics hostage. They also disrupted the hospital’s electricity supply system by firing at the power controls. An eyewitness said the assailants attacked the Intensive Care Unit on the hospital’s first floor where Muaz, the terrorist arrested on Friday, was under treatment.

They attempted to get their accomplice released but failed, killing the security personnel guarding Muaz before escaping.

Meanwhile, police contingents also arrived at the hospital, sparking a volley of fire from the terrorists hiding on various floors of the hospital’s emergency ward.

Subsequently, commandos from the Elite Force and armoured vehicles were called in to deal with the situation. Police launched a clearance operation and reportedly arrested two of the terrorists in injured condition.

Punjab (IGP) Tariq Salim Dogar and other senior police officials also arrived at the scene, as the police rescue party declared the hospital safe.

Escape: However, the IGP told reporters that the four terrorist had escaped, with various news channels reporting that the assailants had escaped in an Elite Force vehicle.

Police said the arrested terrorist Muaz was still in police custody and the terrorists had failed in their mission. Following the terrorists’ escape, police sealed the entire city and began a search operation to arrest the attackers. Later, reports poured in saying the attackers clashed with police in Hanjarwal area on Multan Road, but they had managed to flee.

Talking to reporters, Jinnah Hospital senior official Dr Javed Akram said the terrorists “started indiscriminate firing outside the emergency ward and the intensive care unit”, AFP reported.

Akram told reporters that at least 30 wounded Ahmedis had been admitted to the hospital along with one of the attackers of Friday’s devastating attacks.

The assault came three days after terrorists wearing suicide vests burst into two Ahmedi prayer halls in Garhi Shahu and Model Town, killing over 90 people.

They were the worst attacks in Pakistan since a suicide bomber killed 101 people on January 1 at a volleyball game in Bannu.

Police blamed the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan for the attacks.

A leading rights group said the Ahmedi community had received threats for more than a year and officials blamed the attack on terrorists who have killed more than 3,370 people in bombings over the last three years.

With eight million residents and the tag for being the country’s cultural capital, Lahore has increasingly suffered Taliban and al Qaeda-linked violence, with around 265 people killed in nine attacks since March 2009.

The Taliban and al Qaeda-linked terrorists have orchestrated the three-year bombing campaign in Pakistan to avenge military operations and the government’s alliance with Religious violence in Pakistan, mostly between majority Sunni and minority Shias, has killed more than 4,000 people in the past decade.

TTP leader surrenders in Sargodha

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LAHORE: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hanif Gabol alias Maviya, has surrendered to Mianwali police, a private TV channel reported on Monday.

Gabol, who belongs to the Choti Zerine area of Dera Ghazi Khan, joined TTP (Hasan Group) and was appointed as the chief of the Saraiki Lashkar to carry out terror activities.

He claimed to be involved in several terrorist attacks in different parts of Punjab and also admitted that he was an expert in making suicide jackets, the channel reported.

He was the mastermind behind the attack on the Khosa House in Dera Ghazi Khan.

Pakistan push in N.Waziristan needs time: general

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By William Maclean

AMMAN:Pakistani forces, under U.S. pressure to enter the militant bastion of North Waziristan, will do so but in their own time and when adequate resources are available, a Pakistani general said on Monday.

Lieutenant General Sardar Mahmood Ali Khan, Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, added that such a big task in the mountainous northwest was not “firefighting” and had to be done in sequence with other battles.

Pakistan has come under fresh U.S. pressure to send troops into north Waziristan after a failed bombing in New York claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, which has fighters in northwestern areas including North Waziristan.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Jordan of special operations force commanders, Khan said the army was still busy consolidating its operations following an earlier push into South Waziristan and needed to adhere to a schedule for what he called a long campaign.

Asked if troops would eventually go into North Waziristan, home to a complex web of militant groups, to attack fighters there, he replied: “Of course, all these areas which are affected are on our agenda, yes.”

“LONG DRAWN WAR”

“It is a long-drawn battle, a long-drawn war, and we are continuing and there is a definite plan, there is a definite strategy which is being followed. It is just not firefighting, because there’s a whole lot of areas affected by this (militancy).”

“Given the limitation of resources and troops involvement and not to leave one portion undone and going to another (too soon), it is sequential. In every area we have already got forces which are busy consolidating.”

Some Western officials have questioned the determination of Pakistan to tackle militants while the long-time U.S. ally addresses other problems, from a sluggish economy to power cuts that have made the government unpopular.

Pakistan has proven capable of capturing militants, including some of al Qaeda’s most notorious heavyweights. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was arrested in Pakistan in 2003.

But Khan said North Waziristan’s geography made it an exceptionally difficult region in which to wage war and suggested any move into the region could not be done lightly.

He referred to a presentation on mountain warfare given at the conference by a special forces colleague, Major General Farrukh Bashir, commander of the Pakistani military’s Special Services Group.

Bashir enumerated many obstacles to mountain fighting, including difficulties in helicopter use, in achieving surprise, the need for large numbers of troops acclimatised for high altitude, and very restricted manoeuvrability.

Bashir told the audience: “Pakistan has the capacity and resolve to defeat militancy. We only expect the international community to understand the nature of the conflict. Some conflicts are very difficult to bring to an end quickly.”

Asked if he would accept more U.S. special forces to Pakistan, Khan declined to reply directly, noting there had been a limited number of these forces doing training in Pakistan for some time and they continued to play that role.

Another participant in the conference, organised by the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, was Major General Charles Cleveland, Commander of Special Operations for U.S. Central Command, which includes Afghanistan.

He told Reuters he had “no idea” whether more special forces would be going to Pakistan and added that it was not his decision to make.