Skip to comments.TNSM deputy and spokesman killed in Taliban ambush
Posted on 06/06/2009 3:22:28 PM PDT by csvset
Two senior leaders of a Taliban front group were killed during an ambush as they were being transported to Peshawar.
The Taliban conducted an ambush on a military convoy near the town of Sakhakot in the Malakand district as it was transporting senior leaders of the banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed [TNSM, or the Movement for the Enforcement of Mohammed's Law].
Muhammad Alam, the deputy leader of the TNSM, and spokesman Ameer Izzat Khan were killed along with a Pakistani soldier; five soldiers were reported wounded. No Taliban were reported killed in the ambush.
The Taliban appear to have laid the ambush in an effort to free Alam and Izzat, as well as Maulana Said Wahab, a member of the group's ruling shura, or council, a Pakistani security official told The Long War Journal. There is no word on the status of Wahab. The three senior leaders were detained in Lower Dir on June 4. The government flatly denied reports that TNSM leader Sufi Mohammed and two of his sons were also detained.
"Clearly they [the Taliban] knew when and where to attack, and carefully sprung their trap to free the men," the official said. "I have no doubt they have insider information on our movements."
Sufi Mohammed and the TNSM are responsible for the failed peace agreement under which the Pakistani government ceded control of a large swath of northwestern Pakistan to the Taliban, but which resulted ultimately in the ongoing military operation that has displaced more than 2 million people.
The Taliban are still capable of conducting organized attacks outside of the battle zone of Swat, Dir and Buner, where the military is conducting an operation to flush out the Taliban and restore its writ. The military has failed to block the Taliban retreat, as it has assigned too few forces to the operation. Some Taliban units have eluded the military operation and established bases in the neighboring districts of Malakand, Mardan, Haripur, Mansehra, Shangla, Swabi, and Battagram. Others have melted away with the more than 2.4 million internally displaced persons who have fled the battlefield.
Sakhakot is on highway N45, just south of the district headquarters of Malakand, and south of Swat and Dir. The attack took place in a region where the mountainous Hindu Kush gives way to the plains of the Northwest Frontier Province.
The ambush is the second against a police convoy outside the war zone in two days. Yesterday the Taliban ambushed a police convoy in the neighboring district of Mardan. The Taliban lured police into a kill zone after false reports of an attack in the district.
Six policemen and a Frontier Corps trooper were killed after the Taliban set up a complex ambush in a mountainous region of the district. The Taliban opened fire on the security forces patrol from the hilltops. During the three-hour gunfight, one Taliban fighter was killed and another was captured.
I thought I didn’t read it right... was it a FUBAR rescue attempt?
Yes, Allah Fubar!
A father of five, Alam, 50, led the TNSM for seven years when Sufi Mohammad was jailed for violating border laws. The soft-spoken scholar was known for his non-violent positions and for his role along with Sufi Mohammad in brokering a peace deal in February between the government and Taliban to end violence in Swat.
When MFU went around their backs and invaded Buner and collapsed the entire agreement, followers of Sufi Mohammad broke ranks and began cooperating with the Pakis. That's what facilitated all this.
MFU is in Paktia, Afghanistan with his best commanders. The Swat Taliban will continue the fight by small unit and snipers.
While MFU consolidates his power, tactically, from a strategic point this is a big gamble, openly attacking the "old school" power structure of Sufi Mohammad.
May the have a drone delivered Hellfire in their future.
Most movements and insurgencies have a spiritual/philosophical leadership that creates the moral basis for the military wing.
Sometimes the military wing, in this case, MFU, wants to dominate and conquer beyond the moral mandate of the spiritual/philosophical leaders who say no. The only option is to kill the "old school" off.
Lin Piao suffered the same fate at the hands of Mao tse Tung who wanted a more radical totalitarian China.
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