21 More Taliban were killed, however their ground forces overan more checkpoints and villages and are now patrolling streets in the area. The Taliban are denying reports of Abu Yazid Al Masri’s death, while Pakistan security forces say they overheard about his death while monitoring insurgent radios.
More at the International News:
KHAR/PESHAWAR: Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft and military gunship helicopters continued targeting suspected hideouts of militants in the restive Bajaur tribal agency, killing 21 more people, including three civilians, and injuring several others, officials said.
Meanwhile, the security forces vacated yet another important post near Siddiqabad. Sources close to Arab fighters denied reports about the killing of senior al-Qaeda operative and the network’s operational commander in Afghanistan, Abu Yazeed al-Masri alias Mustafa Mohammad Ahmad or Sheikh Saeed al-Masri, in bombing by the Pakistani fighter aircraft on Damadola in Bajaur a few days back.
There are denials on jihadi forums from non-AQ sources, normally when something of this magnitude happens you will see a confirmation or denial from the leadership of Al Qaeda within a week. The leadership has been silent so far, and the others making denials aren’t AQ, they are TTP Pakistan Taliban.
New reports have the military targeting and hitting Mullah Faqir’s vehicle convoy, according to Maulvi Omar, spokesworm for Baitullah Mehsud, Faqir survived. Intel types will want to read this article as it’s a naming of who’s who in the Damadola area. [Most of you know this information already, but it’s always good to have more confirmation.]
The tribals left in the region are confirming that the military is actually hitting real Taliban targets while they are there, which is a refreshing change if true.
Another report from Dawn reports of the hit on the two vehicle convoy, but doesn’t name names. [International News has a later press time.] The Dawn article does point out that the Military is expanding the area of operation, and from the leaflets dropped they appear to have a “gloves off, weapons hot” approach at the moment.
Meanwhile Baitullah’s assassination list of 300 is getting names crossed off as targetted hits on Pro-Government tribal leaders continue.
Another interesting note here, as tribesmen ask the Taliban to leave Dir.
Further Confirmation of Maulvi Faqir Mohammed’s death at the Nation, where they also confirm that like Abu Yazid Al Masri, Faqir was close to Ayman Al Zawahiri and AQ.
Update: More at The Long War Journal