Today I want to present my, and the people of Bajaur Agency tribal areas, gratitude to Opednews and its leader Rob Kall and other members particularly Jan for supporting and telling the truth.
I shall never forget the cooperation of John E. Carey, a contributor to Opednews.com and head of Peace and Freedom. It is due their sincere efforts that now the terrorists have been losing the war. Now the people have been winning the war against terrorism.
Events in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan were a clear proof that the rulers have played an ugly role during the law six years. The rulers have actually used terrorism for achieving their ulterior motives. The Lal Masjid fiasco exposed several big actors in the war on terrorism. Now elimination of terrorists has become a matter of day. There was time when no one can dare to take action against terrorists in Pakistan, but now the situation has changed altogether.
Now some of the officials have accepted that terrorists have been hiding in Lal Masjid. Eight “high value terrorists” wanted by Pakistan and other countries are holed up inside Lal Masjid, while another was killed by security forces in the ongoing operation, Religious Affairs Minister Ejazul Haq said.
“Nine suspected terrorists said to be far more dangerous and harmful than Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives were hiding inside the mosque compound,” Haq told a press conference here. He refused to reveal the identities of these militants.
He said that security forces killed one of these suspected terrorists inside Lal Masjid on the second day of the ongoing operation. He was the mastermind of the failed suicide attack on Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Attock in 2005, he said.
Haq said that the militants and not Abdul Rashid Ghazi, Lal Masjid’s deputy chief cleric, were controlling the mosque. “The militants are holding children and Ghazi hostage,” he said. He said that of those who had surrendered to the security forces, three girl students were still unclaimed. They were being kept at the Pakistan Sports Complex.
He said that about 500 male and female students were still stranded inside the mosque. He also ruled out the government launching any action against other madrassas in Pakistan, including Jamia Faridia.
The hardcore militants inside include two commanders from the banned Harkatul-Jihad-e-Islami, security officials said.
“We believe there are militants from Harkatul-Jihad-e-Islami, which was involved in the [Daniel] Pearl murder. Based on intelligence we suspect that two commanders from the group are in there,” one senior official told AFP. “They have taken control and they are putting up fierce resistance.” The information was based on “intercepts” and other intelligence, the officials said.
A source inside the mosque said there was a “lot of tension among the various groups inside the compound on how to conduct the fight”. He identified one of the Harkatul-Jihad-e-Islami militants as Abu Zar, said to be a one-time accomplice of the group’s late leader Amjad Farooqi, who was killed by security forces in 2004.
He also named a Pakistani Taliban militant from Waziristan, Mohammad Fida, as the “security chief” of the compound. There was no official confirmation of the names.
According to reports,one levies personnel was killed and six were injured when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb. In another incident, four levies personnel were kidnapped after their checkpoint was attacked on Sunday morning.
Official sources said personnel of the Bajaur Levies were returning after having escorted the vehicle of the area’s political agent to the exit point of the Bajaur Agency when the device was exploded by remote control in Yousafabad, about 3km from here. The blast damaged the vehicle.
The sources confirmed the death of levies personnel Akhtar Shah.
The injured, Subedar Sardar Khan, Noor Wali, Zaer Ali, Abdul Kareem, Abdul Azeem and Fazal Subhan, were taken to the agency headquarters hospital where some of them are stated to be in critical condition.