TTP target killing go unabated in FATA and KPK
In the wake of increasing US drone attacks and repeated military operations, the militant Taliban affiliated with Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), have started a campaign against those tribal elders and peace committee members who remained vocal in their struggle against them. A number of tribal elders, peace committee members and other notables have been killed so far in the volatile troubled areas of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Some estimates put the figure at 1500 with more than half of it only in Bajaur agency.
More than 20 pro-government tribal elders, leaders and members of tribal lashkers have been killed in Bajaur Agency in the past two months. Moulana Faqir Muhammad the head of TTP Bajaur Agency is nowadays based in Kunar Province of Afghanistan and he is running an illegal FM Radio Channel from there. In his seditious speeches on illegal FM Radio Moulana Faqir Muhammad has constantly been threatening the local pro-government tribal elders and leaders of anti-Taliban tribal lashkers to stop supporting the government and disband the lashkers otherwise they would have to face consequences. These killing of tribal elders and lashkers members have forced many pro-government people to reconsider their decision of supporting the Pakistani government and security forces in Bajuar Agency.
According to FRC sources TTP militants have started target killing of the leaders and commanders of Abdullah group, the only Mahsud anti-TTP militant group which was based in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). Abdullah group is pro-government and played a very important and effective role in purging the above mentioned two Districts of KPK. Abdullah group from the past one year is keeping a low profile in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan Districts. From the past three weeks around eight leaders and commanders of Abdullah group have been killed by the TTP militants. On 25th October 2011, TTP militants gunned down Shahab u Din Burki in Tank, who was the head of Abdullah group in Tank. On same day TTP militants gunned down another important commander of Abdullah group in Tank by the name of Asmatullah Mahsud. Moulvi Farhad of TTP in a telephonic interview with FRC correspondent Sailab Mahsud claimed responsibility of target killing of Abdullah group people in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan and went ahead saying that Abdullah group is a government sponsored group and has caused damages to TTP in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan Districts. Now TTP has started a campaign of killing all the important commanders and leaders of Abdullah group in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan.
This target killing has again created fears among the people of Tank and Dera Ismail Khan that militancy may again return to these two districts that were peaceful for the past two years.
On 2nd October Asmatullah Shaheen group which is composed of Bhittani tribesmen of Tank and FR Jundola and affiliated with TTP attacked the house of a local government contractor by the name of Faizullah Bhittani in Naimat Khel village Kari Haider near Tank. According to FRC sources TTP militants came in four vehicles and attacked the house of Faizullah while Faizullah and his family repulsed the attack and long battle took place between the TTP militants and Faizullah family. During the fighting one of Faizullah son is said to have been killed and several other family members were injured. Local villagers also reached to support Faizullah family which forced the TTP militants to flee. Asmatullah Shaheen group has also distributed pamphlets in Tank and Omar Adda warning local people to cut their ties with another government contractor by the name of Saboor Bhittani. TTP has warned that Saboor Bhittani is on their hit list because he is helping Pakistani security forces in rebuilding roads and other infrastructure in South Waziristan Agency. TTP has also warned the local people to stay away from Saboor Bhittani and if someone was killed during attack on Saboor Bhittani the TTP would not be responsible.
TTP militants are also targeting the members of tribal lashkers and pro-government elders in Swat District of KPK and several pro-government peace-committee members were killed during last two months.
The above mentioned activities of TTP in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, and FATA shows that the TTP is getting bolder in target5 killing and it is again gaining strength in these districts of KPK and tribal areas. This also proved that the TTP people are again coming back to Tank and Dera Ismail Khan Districts and they are stronger to target their enemies in these districts. Sporadic clashes are still going on between the Pakistani security forces and TTP militants in different areas of South Waziristan Agency although Pakistani security forces claims to have secured most of the area in South Waziristan Agency.