Army Continues Assault on TNSM & Fazlullah

The Pakistan army continues the assault on Fazlullah’s followers who are allied to Al Qaeda and the Lal Masjid clerics in North Waziristan. The Mullah is in hiding, and the article does not mention if he’s still broadcasting from his illegal FM radio stations. This comes after a suicide attack on the 2500 troops near Swat, and four beheadings of Frontier Corps troops. Details at the Independent:

Pakistani troops and helicopter gunships attacked the village stronghold of a militant cleric yesterday, a day after a deadly suicide bombing, while militants retaliated by beheading four security personnel in an intensifying conflict in the northwest.

Militants kidnapped and beheaded three paramilitary soldiers and a police officer, and displayed their severed heads in a village near the resort town of Swat, said Badshah Gul Wazir, the Home Secretary of the North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.

“I know they were four, and they have been beheaded,” he told a news conference in Peshawar, the provincial capital.

Media reports had said that militants had abducted a total of eight security officials, but Wazir would not confirm the total number of kidnapped personnel.

Wazir’s comments came hours after the two sides traded fire across the rushing Swat River, using rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and other weapons, after security forces attacked the redoubt of the cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who runs a sprawling seminary in the village of Imam Dheri.

Two civilians were killed when stray bullets hit them near the river, while one of the militants also died in the gunbattle, said Mohammed Khan, a police official in Swat.

Previous update here.

In the background of this Benazir Bhutto is visiting her father’s tomb at her home near Larkana.

Tom Lantos Tells it Like it Is

Dutch Green party officials were upset by remarks from Representative Tom Lantos, D-California. Lantos is a holocaust survivor, and in a discussion of Guantanamo he stated that Europeans seem much more upset over Guantanamo than they were about Auschwitz.

The Greens were highly offended, but while over the top a bit, Lantos statement comes close to truth. The far left parties which represent most of Europe these days are more interested in attacking the US over petty things while the whole subcontinent of Asia teeters on the edge of a dark chasm.

It was neglect and ignorance that led to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan to begin with, and now the Dutch are debating whether to pull their troops out or not.

I remember listening to NPR during the advance of the Taliban after the Soviets pulled out, and thinking “This is going to be a horror for the people of Kabul.” The Taliban started shelling the city with rockets, and in the end it was pure horror that most did not hear of.

If the Dutch were to pull out then it would cede more to those same Taliban, and if all of Nato pulls out then the march to Kabul starts over. What would be the reprecussions of that afterwards? Gulbuden Hekmatyar and Ayman Al Zawahari are still out there waiting to massacre again.

If Nato leaves then Afghanistan would once more become a death camp from mountains to steppes — so while Lantos’ statement might thrill some, it’s a bad time to be criticizing allies.

Maoist Terrorists Attack Festival in India: 18 Dead

Maoist Terrorists have attacked a festival in Eastern India, firing into the crowd of celebrants killing 14, including the son of a politician who led a crackdown on the Maoists. Story at AP.  Notice how AP calls them “rebels”.

Communist rebels opened fire on a crowd of revelers at a festival in eastern India on Saturday, killing a politician’s son and 17 other people, police said.

About 25 Maoist guerrillas attacked the village festival in the remote state of Jharkhand, firing indiscriminately, local police chief Arun Kumar Singh told The Associated Press.

Among the dead was Anuplal Marandi, the son of the state’s former chief minister, Babulal Marandi, he said. The politician was thought to be on the rebel’s hit list after leading a crackdown against them while in office, Singh said.

Some 14 people were killed in the attack and four others died later in a hospital. Three more people were wounded, he said. The rebels, who frequently target police and government officials, also threw a bomb into the crowd before fleeing.