Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Heavy Fighting Reported in Pakistan

It's being scantily reported, but major fighting going on now between the Pakistani army and the al-Qaeda/Taliban forces in the tribal areas of Waziristan on the Afghan border.

Pakistani fighter jets bombed villages for the third day today, and there have been heavy casualties on both sides, although neither side is coming up with reliable figures so far.

Pakistan’s chief military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad, admitted to at least at least 45 Pakistani soldiers killed since the first ambush on Saturday, and a further 20 wounded.

It was the condition of the bodies of 31 soldiers that had been recovered that supposedly led to the airstrikes today. Some of the bodies had be beheaded, some burned and several showed signs of torture.

The Pakistani Army isn't taking much care to avoid collateral damage either..dozens of civilians have been reported killed and wounded in the bombings, in particular at the village of Hasu Khel, which is a known stronghold for the Taliban.

There are reports gleaned from the stories of wounded civilians that reached hospitals in the region that told of bombing in at least six villages and of as many as 55 civilians killed, including women and children. The AP is calling in the death toll at about 250 in four days of fighting.

(Off topic thought...imagine how the Pakistanis would react if Israel attacked Hamas in this fashion!)

Musharraf is waiting for a Supreme Court ruling on the election he just won, and now that the vote is in he's obviously concentrating on the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan’s tribal areas, where Al Qaeda and the Taliban had a free hand until recently. The bloody siege of Islambabd's Red Mosque led to the Taliban and al Qaeda abrogating the de facto truce Musharraf had with them, declaring war onhim and calling on the people of Pakistan to overthrow him.Lots of Islamist factions not necessarily linked with al Qaeda or the Taliban have joined the revolt, and Musharraf obviously realizes that he needs to take decisive action.

The whole idea of al Qaeda and the Taliban and Musharraf has always been a Voldemort sort of situation..one can't live while the other survives. It remains to be seen which side will win out in the end.

This may be gradually turning into a full scale civil war.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

.......and in a related matter, the saudi lap dog in the oval office urged restraint on both sides..........