Saturday, 6 September 2014

Al Qaeda announces India wing, renews loyalty to Taliban chief

Al Qaeda announces India wing, renews loyalty to Taliban chief.

DUBAI | Msn News | 06 Sep 2014 : :  Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri on Wednesday announced the formation of an Indian branch of his militant group he said would spread Islamic rule and "raise the flag of jihad" across the subcontinent.

In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahri also renewed a longstanding vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in an apparent snub to the Islamic State armed group challenging al Qaeda for leadership of transnational Islamist militancy.

Zawahri described the formation of "Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent" as a glad tidings for Muslims "in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir" and said the new wing would rescue Muslims there from injustice and oppression.

Counter-terrorism experts say al Qaeda's aging leaders are struggling to compete for recruits with Islamic State, which has galvanized young followers around the world by carving out tracts of territory across the Iraq-Syria border.

Islamic State leader Abu Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls himself a "caliph" or head of state and has demanded the loyalty of all Muslims.

The group fell out with Zawahri in 2013 over its expansion into Syria, where Baghdadi's followers have carried out beheadings, crucifixions, and mass executions.

As well being an indirect repudiation of Islamic State, the announcement could pose a challenge to India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi. He has already faced criticism for remaining silent about several incidents deemed anti-Muslim, underscoring fears that his Hindu nationalist followers will upset religious relations in the majority Hindi nation.

However, while al Qaeda is very much at home in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, due to influential contacts and a long presence there, it is a minnow compared to local militant groups in terms of manpower and regional knowledge. (Courtesy : Retures, Msn News )

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

910 'terrorists', 82 soldiers killed in North Waziristan.

Army says 910 'terrorists', 82 soldiers killed in North Waziristan.

ISLAMABAD | Dawn | 03 Sep 2014 : : A statement issued by the military on Wednesday put the official number of “terrorists” killed in Operation Zarb-i-Azb at 910 and added that 82 Pakistani soldiers had also lost their lives during the North Waziristan offensive.

The death tolls and their breakdowns could not be independently verified as journalists have limited access to the restive tribal region.

The statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) added that 27 explosives and arms making factories have also been destroyed and the operation in North Waziristan was on track and going according to plan.

The army says it has taken over complete control of major towns of Miramshah, Mirali, Dattakhel, Boya and Degan, which were previously considered militant strongholds.

The statement said the 88-kilometre-long Khajuri-Mirali-Miranshah-Dattakhel road and the Ghariom-Jhallar road have been cleared.

"Huge caches of arms and ammunition, communication equipment, and other logistics facilities used by terrorists have been destroyed; uprooting their ability to attack as a coherent force," the ISPR said.

"A total of 2,274 intelligence-led coordinated operations across the country have been carried out to avert any blowback of the operation and 42 terrorists have been killed and 114 hardcore terrorists detained in these operations." It further said that since the start of the operation 82 Pakistani soldiers have lost their lives and 269 were injured.

The ISPR said relief operations for those “temporarily dislocated” due to Zarb-i-Azb were continuing, adding that so far 19,376 tonnes of rations had been distributed among 97,570 displaced families at six relief delivery points in Bannu, Dera Ismail khan and Tank.

Military operation Zarb-i-Azb was launched on June 15 following a brazen militant attack on Karachi's international airport and the failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators.

Nearly a million people have fled the offensive in North Waziristan and taken shelter at camps for the displaced. ( Courtesy : Dawn )