Daily brief: Pakistan market bomb kills 10
Tribal roundup In the first reported drone strike in more than two weeks, yesterday between 5 and 14 militants allegedly affiliated with local Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur were killed west of Miram Shah, the main town in the Pakistani tribal agency of North Waziristan (AP, BBC, CNN, AFP, Dawn/AFP, The News). It is the ...
In the first reported drone strike in more than two weeks, yesterday between 5 and 14 militants allegedly affiliated with local Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur were killed west of Miram Shah, the main town in the Pakistani tribal agency of North Waziristan (AP, BBC, CNN, AFP, Dawn/AFP, The News). It is the 46th reported strike this year, compared with 53 for 2009 (NAF).
Elsewhere in the tribal regions, as many as ten people were killed when a bomb exploded in a busy used car market in Khyber‘s Tirah Valley (ET, AFP, AP). Pakistan’s Daily Times reports that the trial of TNSM militant chief Sufi Muhammad will be held in a court in Peshawar, rather than the Swat Valley, after security threats prompted the change in venue, and is scheduled to begin on July 20 (Daily Times).
Ahead: more talks about talks about talks
Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart S. M. Krishna reportedly agreed on little at yesterday’s meeting in Islamabad, except that the two countries would continue talks (Reuters, ToI, FT, AJE, AFP, PTI, WSJ, Dawn, ET). India wants to focus on terrorism at the core of the talks, while Pakistan seeks discussion over the region’s water dispute and Kashmir. Both foreign ministers were reportedly stone-faced at their joint press conference yesterday afternoon, with little interaction beyond correcting each other’s comments (Reuters, AFP). A State Department spokesman welcomed the high-level contact (AFP).
A lone wolf
A man who claims to be Talib Hussein, the Hazara Afghan National Army soldier who killed three British Gurkhas earlier this week, told the BBC he acted alone and only joined the Taliban after the attack (BBC). A local Taliban commander named Qari Latif, who claimed to be responsible for a suicide attack on a USAID office in Kunduz city earlier this month, was reportedly killed by a NATO airstrike in Kunduz province (Pajhwok, AP).
In Farah province, on the Afghan border with Iran, a local Taliban leader who was allegedly responsible for shuttling fighters to Afghanistan from Iran was killed in a joint Afghan-NATO raid (AP). Iran reportedly plans to send its foreign minister to next week’s international conference in Kabul, after snubbing the London meeting in January (WSJ). Bonus read: Behind the Lines with Hillary Mann Leverett on Iran’s role in Afghanistan and Pakistan (FP).
Next month, the Maldives will reportedly host another round of talks between Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin and the Afghan government (Tolo).
A correspondent and a photographer for the Times of London were caught in a recent firefight between U.S. Marines and Taliban militants in the southern Afghan town of Marjah (Times). The Post considers problems of governance in Zhari district in Kandahar, where the new district governor Karim Jan is struggling to pressure local elders to assume a role in providing security (Wash Post). And McClatchy reviews the common Taliban tactics of assassination and complex attacks (McClatchy).
Banning bin Laden
An Indian comedy about a Karachi reporter who tries to get a visa to the United States by interviewing an Osama bin Laden lookalike has been banned in Pakistan because of concerns that the mocking portrayal of the terrorist leader could trigger attacks in Pakistan (BBC, CNN, Dawn, NYT). Saba Imtiaz notes that while Tere Bin Laden is under review by Pakistan’s censorship authorities, "As with any other Indian film that is released in Pakistan, the film will undoubtedly be pirated and sold in DVD and CD stores" (FP).
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