A suicide bomb blast in Swat has killed 18 Frontier Corps soldiers, an unknown number of civilians, and injured scores more. (Some stories report 30 total deaths, some 20.) This comes as 2,000 Pakistan army troops have taken the high ground on the hills surrounding Swat.
The radical FM radio murder-mullah from the region, Fazlullah, aka “Maulana Earthquake” is in hiding and on the run. His bands of followers from TNSM and the new “eagle force”, are still in the area however, and it’s highly likely that more attacks on the army will come. Maulana earthquake gets his nickname from the preaching he does — he promises his listeners that the region will have even more severe earthquakes than the disastrous ones of 2005 if they do not do as he dictates.
During Bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora TNSM provided a shield of 10,000 “canon-fodder” madrassah students while UBL and his foreign contingent of troops ran away via a different route.
On the political front the Supreme Court is still reviewing the challenges to Musharraf’s presidency, and one statement made by a justice should raise eyebrows — he said in effect that Pakistan was still under the 1973 Constitution, and that oaths taken interim would count. Later that was ameliorated a bit by another justice stating that it would remain to be determined if one of Musharraf’s terms counted since it was not a full term.
Musharraf is reassuring his party, PML-Q, that he is still very much with them and that he won’t be making a jump over to Benazir Bhutto’s party, the PPP. He also stated that Nawaz would not be allowed to return to Pakistan until after the election.
A 20-year old Israeli was seriously wounded this morning when he was shot a number of times in his abdomen and lower body while waiting for a ride at a hitchhiking post outside the Jewish town of Ariel in Samaria.
Carl at Israel Matzav has a report on a terror attack inside Israel, please stop by.
A 20-year old Israeli was seriously wounded this morning when he was shot a number of times in his abdomen and lower body while waiting for a ride at a hitchhiking post outside the Jewish town of Ariel in Samaria. The shooter shot from 100-150 meters away and then drove off. The wounded Israeli was taken by helicopter to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva.
The past two days have been somewhat quiet for terror attacks world-wide, potentially just the lull before the storm.
Here’s to a friend of our country and a friend of all that is good in this world. Here’s to the strength of one of our best cut down on the battlefield fighting against insurmountable odds. Here’s to a man who though wounded and under fire still took the time to say “thank you” before hanging up his satellite-phone after calling for reinforcements against the 30-40 Taliban his four person team was fighting. Here’s to a man who showed mercy and died from it, without regret.
Lt. Michael Murphy, Navy Seal has just been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest honor in this or any other land. Celebrate his life, his virtue, and his courage today, as will I.
Earlier the PKK attacked Turkish troops in an ambush on a bridge killing at least 12, and tensions are rising both sides of the border. Turkey recently passed a bill allowing attacks across the border in Iraq, and there are reports that they are shelling in Iraq again.
This cannot continue — while PKK are terrorists and must be wiped out, shelling villages or an incursion into Iraq is not the way to go about it. Iraq is a sovereign nation, and if Turkey invades, then Iraq, and all their allies have the right to strike back.
The grey areas are in cases of hot pursuit — if Turkey is pursuing a band of PKK, what should the response be? I would say that we aid them in capturing them, but discourage cross-border pursuit. The tell on how we are managing this will be in how air forces on both sides are aligned and repositioned. Video from Reuters:
I found this cartoon in Echourouk Online, and just had to carry it. It’s a great piece of work on several levels. It parodies Al Qaeda’s flag, shows the reward is raised, and implies that not only is Bin Laden fearful and running away, but aslo crippled — which goes back to the rumors from September before last that had him diseased, ill, and paralyzed below the waist.
PPP Demonstrations occurred in most cities in the Punjab, but never escalated to the level of full shutterdowns. As the photo demonstrates, there were the usual tire-burning episodes in streets and intersections (do they know how toxic that smoke is?)
Full political rallies have been banned in the Punjab, which will put a damper on all campaigns, but even without the ban rally turn out would likely be low in the wake of the suicide bombing.
As the previous post demonstrates, police released the photo of the suicide bombers’s head, and shortly afterwards made three arrests in the investigation into the bombing attack on Benazir’s motorcade.
Against this backdrop and what is happening in the frontiers it’s all too easy to predict dire things for Pakistan’s future, but I am not going to join that parade. Over time all things get better – it is the nature of human existence and history. Namira contrasts what can be with things that are as a contrast.
The economy is better, freedoms are improving, there are fewer people who starve than there used to be, infant mortality is improving, and education is improving. It’s easy to be grim, so much harder to be patient, persistent, and to work for good in the face of evil. There are Pakistani’s who do that day in, day out, without notice or credit. They create, they do not destroy — I have utmost faith and confidence in those who create — they always better things over time.
“My life has no significance compared to the solidarity and survival of Pakistan” — Benazir Bhutto..
At a time when Pakistan should be unified against terror and the Islamist extremists who have declared war on the country the leaders instead are busy pointing fingers at each other for political gain.
Immediately following the bombing, Benazir’s husband, Zardari, accused the ISI and other government agencies of complicity over old rivalries, and Benazir continued that theme in her press conference. Sherpao challenged her to name names, and she has given three to the government, and she is now pointing at General Zia adherents, a group her family has a long running feud with. This brings back the death of several of her relatives at the hands of assassins, including her father and her brother Murtaza.
The youths who are rioting in Amsterdam have done so the past four nights, usually burning one or two cars per night near the police station where one of their “gang” members was killed. Bilal Bajaka was shot to death by a female police officer after he ran into the police station and attacked with a knife. The officer is still in serious condition as she was stabbed in the chest severing a pulmonary artery, and twice in the back.
The police say that it’s a “gang” of 35 criminal “youths” ages 12-18; what they don’t tell you is that they are Morrocan immigrants, and they have ties and relations to the Islamist terror organization the “Hofstad Group“. This group includes the murderer of Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered for making the movie Submission.
It is noteworthy that Bilal attacked the police station two years to the day after the first arrests of members of the Hofstad group.
How must it feel to be a citizen in Amsterdam where you can’t own a gun and Islamist gangs are roaming the streets every night unopposed? You think I exagerate? Please visit the original report at Klein Verzet, scroll down to updates 12 -15 of the running story.