News from South Asia, Friday 31st May 2013

Pakistan:

Dawn: Explosions in the Bannu district have killed one security official and injured three others. “Official sources told Dawn.com that the blasts killed one security official and injured three others in Bannu’s Janikhel area.

The wounded were subsequently shifted to a nearby hospital.”

Guardian: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have appointed a new deputy, Khan Said, following the death of Wali-ur Rehman. “The previous deputy commander, Wali ur-Rehman, was killed in a missile attack by a pilotless aircraft in the militant stronghold on Pakistan’s north-west border with Afghanistan on Wednesday, according to Pakistani security officials and militants.

A Pakistani Taliban committee met late on Wednesday to choose a new deputy after Rehman was buried in a low-key ceremony, three Taliban members told Reuters.

The Taliban members said the new number two, Khan Said, 38, had served as Rehman’s deputy. He was involved in planning a 2011 attack on a Pakistani navy base in Karachi in which 18 people were killed and a 2012 jailbreak in which nearly 400 militant inmates escaped, they said.

‘There was absolute consensus over Khan Said,’ one Pakistani Taliban member said.”

USA Today: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have withdrawn their offer to engage in a dialogue with the Pakistani government following the death of their second-in-command, Waliur Rehman, in a US drone strike. “The death of Waliur Rehman, wanted by the U.S. for a 2009 attack in Afghanistan that killed seven people working for the CIA, also focuses attention on the controversial U.S. drone program. Despite President Barack Obama’s sweeping promise last week of new transparency, Wednesday’s strike against a longtime American target shows that the CIA will still launch attacks on militants without having to explain them publicly.

The announcement by the Pakistani Taliban came amid conflicting reports about whether the Islamic militant movement had selected a replacement for Rehman, who was killed Wednesday in an attack that Pakistani officials said left at least four other militants dead.”

Afghanistan:

Dawn: The Red Cross has suspended all operations in Afghanistan following the recent attack on their Jalalabad office. “’All movements have been frozen throughout Afghanistan, there is not a single ICRC delegate or employee that is moving, taking the roads, today,’ Jacques De Maio, ICRC’s South Asia chief, said in a statement released in Geneva on Thursday.

‘Our sub-delegation in Jalalabad has been closed, so we are reconnecting with the government and re-connecting with armed groups to determined what happened and why.’

Jalalabad lies on the key route from the Pakistani border region to Kabul, and it has been the scene of repeated attacks in recent years.”

India:

The Times of India: India continues to be one of the most persistently targeted countries by transnational terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, a US report has said.

“‘While this figure represents a 25 per cent decrease from the previous year, India remained subject to violent terrorist attacks and continued to be one of the most persistently targeted countries by transnational terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),’ the State Department said in its annual Congressional-required Country Reports on Terrorism 2012. The report said as many as 805 people died last year in India in terrorist attacks.”

Zee News: A Naxalite has surrendered to police in the Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh on Friday. “‘Naveen, Divisional Committee Member of Mad Division of Maoists, surrendered along with his weapons before senior police officials,’ Narayanpur Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) N K Sahu said. The 35-year-old was active in Nelnaar area of the district since 2002 and involved in several crimes like murder, loot and arson, he said.

‘He decided to quit the movement due to growing pressure on Naxals from security personnel, harsh forest life and humiliation by his seniors,’ the ASP said.”

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