As predicted in previous posts, the foreigners in North Waziristan have outstayed their welcome, and there are schisms between the Taliban and AQAM forces. Fighting has broken out between tribesmen in Wana and “Suspected Uzbeks” .
See this report from Wana, at the Chitral News:
However, according to sources, Malik Saeed Ullah is demanding surrender of Noor Islam, a close relative of militant Nek Muhammad, on whose alleged instigation Uzbek militants attacked his house on March 6.
Following refusal of four leading tribal elders for surrender, the alleged Uzbek militants opened fire on the local tribesmen and a mortar shell hit a bus of Musa Neka Public School. Two students were killed on the spot and 25 other were injured. Later two other succumbed to injuries in a hospital. The armed clashes spread to different surrounding areas including Chagh Ghundai to Azam Warsak, the main border town of South Waziristan Agency.
It is pertinent to mention that unlike past, the alleged militants from Ahmadzai Wazir Tribe calling themselves as Taliban or Mujahideen have been disintegrated in the second round of armed clashes.Â
Haji Nazir, head of Taliban Shura is supporting tribal elders loyal to government, whereas his other colleagues like Maulvi Abbass, Haji Muhammad Omar, Noor Islam, Javed Zalikhel and others are supporting Uzbeks. All these people are being considered amongst the close aides of alleged militant commander Nek Muhammad who was killed on June 17, 2004
Â Pashtuns have a deep sense of honor, they have large, extended families, and if you kill one of their family members it’s worse than the Hatfields and McCoys. There’s no forgiveness, no matter the reason for the death — in other words pinning a note to the deceased’s chest saying he was an American spy doesn’t gain you any points or forgiveness. Coupled with that is the long term deep divide between the Uzbek and Pashtun tribes that goes back to Alexander’s times.
UPDATE: Death Toll in the clashes rises to 127 — from the Pakistan Observer:
Peshawarâ€”Since there is no letup in the bloodiest clashes between the foreign militants and the pro-government tribesmen in South Waziristan Agency, the death toll from both the sides have crossed over 127. Unconfirmed reports say the Army has intervened to bring halt to the fire.
Pitched battle between the pro-government locals (belonging to Wazir Tribe) and the fugitives in the SWA started on Monday morning, it may be recalled had left some fifty people including children and females dead and injuries to scores others till Tuesday last
There are rumors that the army has joined in support of the local tribes and is using artillery against the Uzbek/Chechen positions after 25 children were killed by Uzbek mortars. Right now, I wouldn’t want to be an Uzbek or a Chechen anywhere in Pakistan.