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Taliban War in Pakistan

Taliban War

In Pakistan

(2004-Present)

Waziristan War(2004- Present): In the rugged and remote region of Waziristan on Pakistan's northwest border with Afghanistan, Islamic rebels allied to the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida are fighting to establish an Islamic Republic.

The fighting began in 2004, when Pakistan's army entered the region inhabited by the Waziri tribe in search al-Qaida and Taliban fighters who were using Waziristan as a base for attacks against American and Allied forces in Afghanistan.

Since the fighting began, Pakistani forces suffer almost daily casualties due to roadside bombs and ambushes. The authority of the central government is almost nonexistent in the rebellious tribal borderlands.

The United States aids the Pakistani forces with intelligence information and with tactical air strikes on suspected rebel bases and safe houses. The best known U.S. airstrike occurred at the village of Damadola, on January 13, 2006. The attack occurred in the Bajaur tribal area, about 4.5 miles) from the Afghan border. This Predator-drone attack killed at least 18 people, including several non-Waziri foreign al-Qaida fighters.

In July, 2007, following nearly ten months of an uneasy peace, the Islamic militants of Waziristan once again began fighting the Pakistani government in response to the siege and army assault on the Red Mosque in Islamabad. The Red Mosque had been held by Islamic militants and the Pakistani Army ousted the militants in a bloody battle.

The U.S. had been quietly critical of Musharaff's government for letting the militants in the Waziristan border region regroup during the ten-month truce. After the border region violence renewed, Washington offered assistance to Pakistan in terms of arms and other aid. Rumors of possible American intervention against the Taliban and al-Qaida in Waziristan sparked a rebuke from the Pakistani government that any such cross-border action would be opposed.

Throughout late 2008 and into the spring of 2009, the Taliban continued to make advances further into Pakistan itself. In April, the Taliban expanded out of the Swat Valley into the Buner region, a mere 60 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. The Pakistani military responded with attacks on the Taliban advance elements, and by early May, the Swat Valley truce seemed to be in tatters as combat escalated.

 Thousands flee Pakistan valley as truce crumbles--Associated Press, May 5, 2009

Reports: Pak Army strikes in Waziristan--July 25, 2007

US points out 9 terror camps in Waziristan--July 25, 2007

60 dead in Pakistan border fighting  --April 4, 2007
Copyright 1998-2011 Roger A. Lee and History Guy Media; Last Modified: 11.25.11

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