News from South Asia, Wednesday 29th May 2013

Pakistan:

Reuters: The US has launched its first drone strike in Pakistan since the Pakistani election. Seven people were killed in North Waziristan. “Pakistani security officials and Pashtun tribesmen in the northwestern region said the drone fired two missiles that struck a mud-built house at Chashma village, 3 km (2 miles) east of Miranshah, the region’s administrative town.

They said seven people were killed and four wounded. It was not immediately clear if the victims were the intended targets.”

Dawn: A US drone strike in North Waziristan has killed the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan ‘number two’, Waliur Rehman. “The officials’ claim comes hours after at least four people were killed and four others were injured early Wednesday in a suspected US drone strike in North Waziristan.

According to initial reports, a US drone fired two missiles at a house in Miramshah’s area of Chashma Village, killing four and injuring four others.

The wounded were shifted to a nearby hospital where they were stated to be in critical condition.”

Afghanistan:

Dawn: Afghan security forces killed six suicide bombers who attacked the Panjshir governors office. “Panjshir, an ethnically Tajik area northeast of Kabul, was a bastion of anti-Taliban resistance during the extremists’ 1996-2001 regime, and has been among the most peaceful provinces in Afghanistan since they were ousted.

The attack, which was claimed by Taliban insurgents in a text message sent to the media, will heighten concerns about the militants’ ability to strike in districts where they have little presence or public support.

‘Six suicide bombers wearing police uniform entered the governor’s office.

Our security team responded and all, except one who detonated himself, were brought down,’ Abdul Kabir Waseq, the governor’s spokesman, told AFP.”

US DoD: A combined Afghan and ISAF force arrested a Haqqani network leader and seven other militants in Paktia province. “The Haqqani leader is responsible for kidnappings of Afghan civilians, coordinates the movement of weapons and plans and executes attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.”

India:

Daily Times: The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack during a political rally which killed 28 people.

“The bloody ambush on Saturday, the deadliest attack in three years, was to avenge killings by security forces during the long-running conflict in the central state of Chhattisgarh, said the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist).

‘We have taken revenge for the killing of over a thousand people by the hands of Salwa Judum goons and government security forces,’ the group said in a four-page statement sent to the BBC broadcaster’s Hindi service. Among those targeted in the attack was former state home minister Mahendra Karma, the statement said, who set up a controversial anti-Maoist militia group in 2005 called the Salwa Judum.”

Newstrack India: India’s government has appointed a senior judge, Prashant Mishra, to oversee a panel that will investigate Saturday’s attack in Chhattisgarh by Maoist rebels.

“Justice Prashant Mishra, a sitting judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court, will probe last Saturday’s Maoist attack on the Congress leaders. He will submit his report within three months.

…Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh held discussions with the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh and other officials in Raipur yesterday on the situation arising out of the attack, and counter-Maoist strategies to be adopted in the state. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is also probing attack by the Maoists on Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, visited the ambush spot near Darbha as part of the investigations. Heavily-armed Maoists had on Saturday ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in the state’s Bastar district, killing 28 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar and injuring 37 others.”

Bangladesh:

The Peninsula: The house of Bangladesh’s foreign minister was targeted yesterday when three small homemade bombs were hurled onto the roof, with no injuries or deaths reported.

“Foreign Minister Dipu Moni is currently in London but her family was at home when the bombs were thrown at the residence, her spokesman Monirul Islam Kabir told AFP. ‘The three cocktails were hurled from outside and exploded at the roof of the foreign minister’s house in the capital,’ said Kabir, referring to the crude homemade bombs that are popular among Bangladeshi protesters.

‘Her husband and their two children were in the house at the time of the explosion,’ he added. Deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Maruf Hossain told AFP that police recovered evidence of at least two bombs from the roof.”

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