India-Pakistan: Where Anything Can Happen


August 15, 2008:  Pakistan believes their combat operations in Bajaur have killed senior Al Qaeda leader Abu Mustafa Al Yazid. The dead man is an Egyptian, the number three man in al Qaeda,  who has long been sought by American and Pakistani counter-terror forces. Elsewhere in the Bajaur region, over 100,000 civilians have fled the fighting. The army is quick to use artillery and warplanes in places like Bajaur, and the Islamic terrorist fighters try to use civilians as human shields. So the civilians have learned it's best to flee when the fighting starts. The Pakistani Army has still not developed, much less carried out, a strategic plan to deal with the growing Islamic radical rebellion in the tribal areas along the Afghan border. But the army is responding to Islamic radical attempts to push the military out of the region. The U.S. continues to press the Pakistanis for permission to operate on both sides of the border. The Americans don't demand a public announcement of such permission. A more discreet deal would do. Some people in the region believe that such a deal has already been made. But it's difficult to tell, as the border area has few roads, and lots of hard-to-reach places where anything can happen.

August 14, 2008: In Assam (northeast India), tribal separatists have apparently established links with Maoist groups in eastern India. The Maoists are showing the tribal rebels better ways to be rebellious.

August 13, 2008: In Lahore, Pakistan, a suicide bomber killed nine and wounded 35.

August 12, 2008: In Kashmir, India, weeks of unrest over a religious dispute (involving land around a Hindu temple), between Hindus and Moslems continues. At least 13 have died, and over 200 wounded in violent demonstrations.

Near the Afghan border, an American missile hit an Islamic radical training camp, killing at least ten terrorists.

Outside Peshawar, Pakistan, a roadside bomb killed 13 people in a bus, including six air force personnel, and wounded twelve more. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility, as the bus mainly carried air force personnel.

August 11, 2008: Outside Peshawar, Pakistan, an Islamic radical died when the bomb he was planting apparently short circuited, and went off. Three others were wounded, one of them also apparently, an Islamic terrorist.

August 10, 2008: After four days of fighting in the Bajaur district of Pakistan (north of Peshawar, the largest city in the area, near the Afghan border, some of the government forces have retreated. The Pakistanis used hundreds of locally recruited frontier guards, and dozens of these were captured or deserted. The fighting began when pro-Taliban tribesman attacked a police checkpoint. The army responded with more troops and helicopter gunships. Over a hundred tribesmen were killed. The hills and forests of Bajaur have long hidden many Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.

In Pakistan's Swat valley, groups of Islamic terrorist gunmen continue to wander around attacking security forces. Today, eight police were shot to death when a group of Islamic gunmen attacked a police check point at night.

August 8, 2008:   Pakistani police arrested eight terrorist suspects in Punjab (outside the tribal areas), and seized four suicide bomber belts. The suspects were apparently planning kidnappings as well as suicide bombings.


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