Pakistan strikes pro-Taliban militants in tribal region

Pakistani forces on Saturday launched an operation against Islamic militants threatening the security of Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), and the main supply route for NATO forces in the area, officials said.

District Police Officer Suleman said 700 men from paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), 400 Frontier Reserve Police, and 200 Anti- Terrorist Squad personnel started operation in the tribal district of Khyber Agency and were making advances in the area.

"Our troops have taken positions in Akakhel, Gandao and Shaloban areas. They received little resistance in the Gandao area from where the militants fled after a brief exchange of fire with government forces. No one was injured," he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

In Shaloban areas, the law enforcers destroyed a base camp of Mangal Bagh, a firebrand cleric who has tried to enforce Taliban-type rule in the small town on the border with Afghanistan as well as in Peshawar.

The areas lie 30 kilometres south-west of Bara, the headquarters of hundreds of heavily armed fighters loyal to Bagh.

Peshawar, a front-line city in the US-led war against terror has been suffering from a poor law-and-order situation since pro-Taliban militants took control of the adjacent Khyber Agency.

Last week 16 members of the Christian community were abducted by Bagh's men, who after taking control of Bara and Jamrud areas of Khyber Agency have now started patrolling Matani, Pishta Khara, Hayatabad and Matra areas of Peshawar.

In the surrounding areas of Peshawar the rebels were bombing music shops, movie theatres and internet cafes. Cable operators were receiving threats to abandon their trade and barbers are told not to shave beards and women are barred from receiving an education.

Emergency has been imposed in all major hospitals of Peshawar and all the law enforcement agencies were put on high alert.

Due to the prevailing uncertainty some families from Hayatabad Township had started to migrate to safer places in the city.

Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas confirmed to dpa that the security operation was going on in Khyber Agency and the military would assist police and the paramilitary forces in the operation only if militant resistance was very strong.

"The situation in and around Peshawar was brewing for quite sometime and there were definitely some incursions into the city also, but I believe ... the situation has been exaggerated. It is not that alarming," he said.

The provincial government has ordered the Frontier Corps to start operation and the FC was in action at the moment, he added.

Supporters of Bagh also moved last week to strengthen their control along the Pakistan-Afghanistan highway, which is a used as a supply route by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Hundreds of Bagh men also attacked the rival Ansarul Islam group in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency.

Four more people died on Saturday in the intense week-long clashes between the two groups, taking the death toll to around 50, Geo news channel reported. The similar number of people were injured.

The local administration in the semi-autonomous tribal area however could confirm only 25 deaths over the last six days.

Separately, in the north-east of Peshawar, five people were killed in renewed violence. Unknown gunmen shot dead three people on late Friday in Kabal area of the district, while police in the Matta area found the body of a person whose throat was slit.

According to local authorities a civilian violating curfew was killed by security forces.

In the neighbouring tribal district of Bajaur Agency, a beheaded body of an Afghan national was found. A letter attached to the body accused the man of spying for the Americans.

Militancy has risen in north-west Pakistan since the new government opened peace talks with the militants under revision of what it called "hard-handed" policies of President Pervez Musharraf, a key US ally in its international fight against terrorism.

The move raised concerns in Washington and other NATO capitals that the peace accords would only provide rebels the opportunity to regroup and strike international forces across the border in Afghanistan and Pakistani troops inside the country.

Meanwhile, Baitullah Mehsud, a leader of militant umbrella organization Tehrik-i-Talban Pakistan (Taliban Movement in Pakistan), suspended peace talks with the government following the security operation.

"We will not talk to the government until the government stops operation against Taliban in Khyber Agency," he told reporters in Peshawar by telephone.

Analysts believe the operation would see a repeat of the suicide bombings campaign that killed more than 4,000 people, including 1,000 security personnel, in last 15 months, dpa reported.

Ambedkar remembered on birth anniversary in Dubai
Ambedkar remembered on birth anniversary in Dubai
AzTV releases video on April 2016 battles: "We honor the April victory with pride!"
AzTV releases video on April 2016 battles: "We honor the April victory with pride!"
Loading Bars
Brazil reports 3,472 more deaths
Baku Higher Oil School wins Regional Petrobowl Competition
Israel attacks targets near Damascus
German court clears path for EU COVID-19 recovery fund
Iran’s NIDC announces number of drilled wells
Iran adds advanced machines at Natanz uranium enrichment plant: IAEA
Italy's cabinet unveils roadmap for reopening starting April 26
Pakistan: Several killed in explosion at Quetta hotel
MSF urges rich countries to back COVID vaccine patent waiver
U.S. commanders seek approval for aircraft carrier near Afghanistan during withdrawal
Britain's Heathrow Airport turns down airline requests for extra flights from India
Qatar reports 819 new COVID-19 cases, 199,180 in total
Uzbekistan reveals number of investment projects implemented with S.Korea, Japan
Azerbaijani gymnast reaches final of European Championship in Basel
Turkey records highest daily COVID-19 deaths toll yet, total nears 37,000
Executive power of Azerbaijan’s Astara district opens tender for overhaul of roads
Georgia introduces new regulation on activation of roaming services
Azerbaijan to increase production of pomegranate in 2021
Iran halts flights to 39 countries due to rising COVID: CAO
NASA, SpaceX delay Crew-2 mission launch to space station
Over 200 mln COVID-19 shots administered in U.S.
Olympic motto may be altered, IOC President says
Turkey extends short-term work pay scheme until June
Uzbekistan Airways plans to discontinue flights to nine countries
Review of Georgia's exports to China
Azerbaijani banks greatly expand mortgage lending volume - CBA
EU provides more details on projects supporting in Georgian energy sector
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 24
Extension of contract for dev't of gold-bearing deposit approved in Azerbaijan
Geostat reveals data on China's exports to Georgia
UK records another 2,396 coronavirus cases, 22 deaths
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Nizami Ganjavi Int'l Center to discuss need for human rights advocacy
Armenia demonstrates fascism in relation to historical monuments - Azerbaijani State Committee
Karabakh ceasefire agreement signed, time to move forward - Commissioner for Human Rights
Some Russian airlines receive permission to make regular flights to Azerbaijan
View of Azerbaijan's liberated territories horrifying - Belarus ambassador
Execution of memorandum on improving insurance literacy starts in Azerbaijan
Uzbekneftegaz completes drilling operations on several wells
Number of transactions at Uzbek Commodity Exchange for 1Q2021 increases
EIB to assist Uzbekistan in developing credit line for project in Aral Sea region
Longest tunnel in Iran to be opened by end of spring
WB expresses readiness to provide digital transformation support to Azerbaijan
Iran creating water trading market
Volume of credit investments in Azerbaijan's economy declines
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
WB predicts fall in gold prices in 2021
Kazakhstan to establish new mobile operator
Exports markets demonstrate growing demand for Georgian medications
Kazakhstan talks ongoing work to open CLAAS agricultural vehicles' assembly plant
Turkmenistan's Turkmenbashi refinery to launch production of Jet A-1 aviation fuel
Uzbekistan, Latvia consider prospects for co-op in ICT
Azerbaijan shows footage from Bash Garvand village of Aghdam district (VIDEO)
Postal operators of Azerbaijan, Turkey launch money transfer service at favorable tariffs
India’s crosses a Landmark with Cumulative Vaccination Coverage more than 13 Crores
SOCAR Ukraine bidding for Odessa Port Plant’s tender
London Bridge station reopens after suspicious item investigated
Uzbek-Korean JSC announces tender for transport services
PM Modi to address virtual Leaders' Summit on Climate tomorrow
Turkmenistan's Turkmengeology opens tender for purchase of equipment
Delayed tourism recovery affects Georgian economic growth forecast
India gets elected to three UN ECOSOC bodies
Turkmenistan's Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of chemical products
UK extends G7 Foreign Ministers' meeting invite to India
Kazakhstan’s national postal service operator to buy spares via tender
Georgia prepares for UN Food Systems Summit 2021
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens for Apr. 21
Azerbaijan confirms 2,075 more COVID-19 cases, 2,480 recoveries
Iran Khodro declares amount of money to be saved
IRICA discloses details of Iran’s trade turnover with neighboring countries
Turkey reveals volume of goods received at Bandirma port in 2M2021
Georgian commercial banks see increase in profits
Industrial parks will also operate in Karabakh zone - President Aliyev
COVID-19 stalls launch of direct flights between Kazakhstan, US - ambassador
European countries to resume J&J COVID vaccine deliveries
Azerbaijan discloses volume of vehicles assembled at Ganja Automobile Plant
Dutch Stone City Energy to build TPP in Uzbekistan’s Surkhandarya region
WB names amount of allocations to countries against COVID-19
Carbamide production in Azerbaijan to grow, WB forecasts
Baku Stock Exchange holds auction on placement of CBA short-term notes
Turkmenistan's gas compressor plant contributes gas supply to oil wells
Eurasian Development Bank to support hospitals construction in Kazakhstan
Number of Kazakh companies increases in Turkey
Turkey unveils volume of cargo shipment through Kocaeli port
Onion exports from Georgia up, while imports decrease
Azerbaijan's Ganja Automobile Plant looks to enter markets of EAEU, neighboring countries
TCO talks release of excess amount pollutants at Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field
Azerbaijan eyes to introduce biometric e-signature system
Verizon loses more-than-expected wireless subscribers
Pace of Turkmen industry dev’t accelerating
Volume of Azerbaijan's 1Q2021 oil export to Spain disclosed
Austria increases import of Turkish-made chemicals
Silk Way West Airlines named ‘Cargo Airline of the Year 2020’
Turkey's 1Q2021 furniture export to Austria shows increase
Turkey's furniture export to Iran up
WB says global coal prices to jump in 2021
Cost of electricity imports to Georgia increase
Iran's Jam Petrochemical Complex sees increase in sales
Ukrainian Bees Airline plans to carry out Kyiv - Tbilisi - Kyiv flights
Azerbaijani state budget receipts through State Customs Committee exceed forecasts
Israel and UK consider green travel corridor
All news