Taliban move fight to South Waziristan
Twenty-five militants and six soldiers were killed Saturday night in two separate clashes between security forces and insurgents in Pakistan's tribal region, officials said.The Taliban may be trying to preempt the coming battle in South Warzistan, but it appears they are very ineffective at this point. the normally soft Frontier forces appear to have responded to training to make them a more effective force. The US special forces has been working with the Frontier Corps forces recently.
Both clashes took place after militants ambushed security forces in South Waziristan, one of seven districts in Pakistan's mostly ungoverned tribal region along the Afghan border, said military spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas.
The clashes in South Waziristan were separate from an ongoing months-long military offensive in the Swat Valley.
Many analysts believe the army may launch an offensive to flush out militants from South Waziristan once it completes its campaign in Swat where the military claimed a major victory Saturday when it said its security forces had secured the key city of Mingora.
In the first incident Saturday, militants attacked an army check post near the village of Spinkai killing three soldiers and wounding six, Abbas said. Pakistani troops beat back the insurgents, killing 15.
In the second clash, insurgents ambushed a military convoy in a village north of Wana. Ten militants were killed in the ensuing firefight. Three soldiers were also killed, Abbas said.
Bill Roggio has more on the fighting in South Warzistan. The fighting in in an area controlled by Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. He is one of the most aggressive of the current crop. If the army could destroy his organization it would be a huge blow to the Taliban viability. Several other Taliban leaders have supposedly united with him in a war against everybody, i.e. Pakistan and the US. If the others joined the battle in south Warzistan, it would be an opportunity for the Pakistan army to destroy them rather than having to play cat and mouse with them.