Taliban remaining in Buner under attack

BBC:

Pakistan has launched air strikes against suspected Taleban hideouts in Buner district, less than 100km (67 miles) from the capital, Islamabad.

The aerial attack in Buner comes as tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in Lower Dir, another area which is seeing heavy fighting.

Hundreds of militants have moved into adjacent regions recently from the Swat Valley, an area they largely control.

Western politicians have expressed concern over Taleban activity there.

The air force's move into Buner marks a widening of the government's offensive against the Taleban.

Military spokesman Athar Abbas said their mission in Buner was to "eliminate and expel" the Taleban from the district.

Maj Gen Abbas said there were about 450 to 500 militants in Buner, in breach of a peace agreement between the government and the Taleban.

Meanwhile, in Dir he said the military had killed about 70 militants and described the operation as a success.

The BBC's Mark Dummett, in Islamabad, says the government is complaining that the militants are trying to take over the areas bordering the Swat Valley.

The Taleban denies the government claims.

...

If the Taliban deny that they are trying to take over areas adjacent to Swat then they should have no objection to the attacks in places like Buner.

The open question is whether the government will sustain attacks against the Taliban or just use the current operation as an excuse to continue business as usual.

What Pakistan needs to do is use a persisting counterinsurgency operation against Taliban units. That is not what it is doing at this point. It is using aerial attacks on suspected Taliban locations, but it does not have the boots on the ground to keep the Taliban from coming back after they try to avoid the air attacks. The air attacks should be used in coordination with ground units that have fixed the location of the Taliban and blocked their route of retreat.

Comments

  1. I think the spokesmen for Islam should be outright condemning the actions of the Taliban. As it stands now, they sit back and watch things happen with the people under Taliban rule and blame the West for any interference. People of Islam believe that the press blow things out of preportion. Yes, I suppose some of it is, but they need to investigate themselves to find out the truth. The Islam I was told about in Bahrain is not that of the Taliban. Pakistan hopefully gets rid of these extremists.

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