HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Al Qaeda Uzbeks, Pakistani tribesmen clash; 3 killed

WANA, Pakistan - At least three people were killed in a clash between al Qaeda-linked Uzbek militants and armed tribesmen in a volatile Pakistani region, near the Afghan border, on Tuesday, intelligence officials said.

The fighting in Azam Warsak, a village in South Waziristan, broke out after militants tried to assassinate a pro-government tribal elder, Malik Saeedullah Khan.

The militants opened fire with automatic weapons as Khan, the head of a government-backed peace committee, passed through the village bazaar, and tribesmen fired back.

"Both sides used AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles," an intelligence official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, adding that three people were killed.

"The fighting is still on," a Pakistani military official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

"The bodies of two Uzbek miscreants have been recovered and there are unconfirmed reports that up to 10 people were killed in the fighting," he said.

It was the second time the Uzbeks had tried to kill Khan in the last three days.

While many government officials and pro-government tribal elders have been killed by militants, this was the first reported clash between tribesmen and militants in an area regarded as a hotbed of support for al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The intelligence official said the Uzbek fighters belonged to Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

Hundreds of foreign militants, most of them Uzbeks, Chechens and Arabs, are hiding in Waziristan and some other Pakistani tribal areas, after being vanquished from Afghanistan by U.S. led forces in late 2001.

Azam Warsak and nearby areas were the scene of fierce fighting in 2004, when Pakistani security forces launched a major operation against militants commanded by IMU leader, Tahir Yuldashev.

More than 100 people were killed in that fighting but Yuldashev, who is accused of a series of bomb blasts in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, in 1999, escaped.
Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org