Pakistan: fighting continues in Tribal Areas

Fighting continues between Pashtun tribesmen and foreign al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas. Both sides used mortars, heavy guns and rocket-propelled grenades in battles overnight in South Waziristan, following the collapse of a week-long ceasefire. Violence first erupted March 19 when a Taliban commander-turned-government supporter ordered Uzbek and Chechen militants to disarm, leaving 160 dead last week. Tribesmen March 29 seized control of a school which the Uzbeks were using as their base in Ghawakha, near Wana. At least eleven have been killed in clashes this week. (AFP, March 30)

Militants blew up two video shops and torched a cable television operator’s office in Kohat city of North West Frontier Province March 29. The attackers forced people out of the office of the cable operator and spread kerosene before setting it on fire. Later they detonated improvised bombs at the video shops, which were empty at the time. Both shops were badly damaged. Residents said the attacks followed threats to the owners to shut down their business because they were “un-Islamic.” (AFP, March 30)

See our last posts on Pakistan and the Tribal Areas.