US drone strikes corner Pakistan militants

2014-12-04 14:03
(Eric Gay, AP)

(Eric Gay, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Peshawar - Pakistani Taliban militants have been holed up in Afghanistan by a series of US drone strikes and a revolt against them, a trend that could disrupt the insurgents' capability to strike inside Pakistan.

For years, Pakistani Taliban commanders fighting against the Pakistani state have been hiding in remote areas of eastern Afghanistan, planning attacks and recruiting fighters.

But in recent weeks, officials say the insurgency has been weakened by a spate strikes by US drones and a rebellion by tribesmen in Afghanistan's Kunar province.

The Pakistani and Afghan Taliban are allied and share the goal of toppling their respective governments and setting up a strict Islamist state across the region.

Their presence on both sides of the border has long been a bone of contention between Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the two trading accusations of sheltering insurgents and not doing enough to stop them.

Rising hopes

But the ascent to power of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani this year has raised hopes the neighbours could do more to tackle the insurgency together.

Four Pakistani Taliban commanders told Reuters drone strikes and tension with tribesmen had forced them to move from small Afghan towns to mountainous border areas.

Two of them said they narrowly missed being hit by US drones last month. There is no complete record of drone strikes in Afghanistan so it was not possible to verify their claims.

A strike on 24 November hit a house where Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah had stayed the night before and killed two commanders, one Taliban commander said.

Relations between Pakistani Taliban fighters and tribesmen have also deteriorated - a trend Afghan forces are trying to exploit.

Continued uprising

Kunar governor Shuja-ul Mulk Jalala said there was an uprising in the Dangam district 11 days ago.

"Villagers, backed by a unit of Afghan police and army launched an operation against the Pakistani Taliban," he said.

Jalala said villagers had complained of Pakistani Taliban harassment and the militants sometimes attacked Afghan forces.

"Villagers asked for some support and weapons to fight them. Tribal elders complained that there were no difference between good or bad Taliban and decided to drive them out," Jalala said.

A militant commander in Pakistan's Bajaur border region, opposite Kunar, said Afghan forces had recently detained a number of Pakistani militants.

"Previously, they would avoid visiting areas where our people were staying and even provided food to some of our people but now they're creating problems," said another militant commander said of Afghan forces.
Read more on:    taliban  |  pakistan  |  us  |  war

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.