Militants attack power station in Peshawar, killing eight
Hostage situation Dozens of militants attacked a power station on the outskirts of Peshawar with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades around 2AM Tuesday morning, first killing three people at the scene and then taking nine hostages as they fled (AP, ET, Dawn). The attackers killed five of the hostages while they were fleeing, but the ...
Dozens of militants attacked a power station on the outskirts of Peshawar with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades around 2AM Tuesday morning, first killing three people at the scene and then taking nine hostages as they fled (AP, ET, Dawn). The attackers killed five of the hostages while they were fleeing, but the other four are still missing. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston on Monday investigated Pakistan’s militant rehabilitation program in Swat, where the Taliban ruled with an iron fist until the Pakistan Army pushed them out in 2009 (NPR). At two rehab centers run by the Pakistani military, young men who were convinced or coerced to join the Taliban are taught useful skills like woodworking and how to use a computer, and encouraged to take care of their families rather than wage jihad with the Taliban.
Some 40,000 people have fled their homes due to heavy fighting between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency over the past few weeks, according to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) (ET). Aid organizations say many of the refugees were forced to leave with nothing, and walk for hours on end with no access to basic services like shelter or water.
An Afghan minor estimated to be about 16 years old killed an American soldier in eastern Afghanistan last Wednesday by stabbing him in the neck while he played with a group of local children (AP). 26-year-old Sgt. Michael Cable was guarding Afghan and American officials as they met near the border with Pakistan when he was stabbed.
After the New York Times published a story on Monday about an Afghan man who was forced to promise his 6-year-old daughter in marriage to pay off a debt he could not afford, the man, Taj Mohammad, said an anonymous donor had paid the debt more than a month ago (NYT, NYT). Kimberley Motley, an American lawyer, said she helped facilitate the transfer of funds from the donor to Mohammad and then to the lender through a tribal Jirga, calling that method more expeditious and less intimidating than official courts are to these men, who live in a refugee camp in Kabul.
Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to deteriorate, with the Afghan Foreign Ministry lodging a formal protest over the "Pakistani military’s unilateral construction and physical reinforcement activities" along the border of eastern Nangarhar Province (ET, ET, Dawn, NPR). Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin also spoke with Pakistani ambassador Mohammad Sadiq about the alleged firing of rockets into Kunar Province over the past several days.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a German newspaper on Tuesday that Taliban leader Mullah Omar is welcome to run in the 2014 presidential elections so that Afghans have the opportunity to "vote for or against him" (ET). Political analysts say the reclusive, one-eyed militant leader, whose whereabouts are unknown, is still undecided.
— Jennifer Rowland
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