News from South Asia, Monday 3rd June 2013

Pakistan:

Dawn: Two soldiers have been wounded in an IED attack in North Waziristan. “Official sources told Dawn.com that a security forces’ vehicle was targeted with an IED near the Esha check post, which damaged the vehicle and injured two soldiers.”

Comment: Imran Awan writing for the Guardian: US drone strikes are ‘further radicalising Pakistan‘. “The use of drones violates Pakistan’s sovereignty and whilst the death of Wali ur Rehman will be celebrated across the United States and afar, for ordinary Pakistanis there is a chilling reminder that reprisal attacks are around the corner. US drones put all Pakistani’s at risk and therefore are counter-productive in defeating the Taliban. Their legality can also be questioned and ultimately their psychological impact on Pakistanis and inhumane manner in which they have killed many innocent civilians is fermenting and radicalizing more people and creating a destabilised Pakistani society.”

Afghanistan:

CBS: A suicide blast in Afghanistan has killed one police officer and ten school-children. “A suicide bomber killed at least 10 school pupils and a policeman on Monday outside a market in the country’s east.

Gen. Zelmia Oryakhail, provincial police chief of Paktia province, told CBS News’ Mukhtar Ahmad the attacker was targeting a joint U.S. military and Afghan Local Police (ALP) patrol, and that two U.S. troops were wounded in the blast.”

Long War Journal: The May 29 suicide attack targeting the governor’s compound in Panjshir was carried out by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Taliban. “The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan released the statement announcing its participation in the attack in Panjshir, one of the most secured provinces in Afghanistan and the bastion of the former Northern Alliance. The statement was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

The IMU admitted that the attack was executed under the banner of the Taliban’s Khalid bin Waleed spring offensive, which was announced at the end of April. In that statement, the Taliban said it would conduct suicide assaults on Coalition and Afghan facilities. The IMU has integrated its operations with the Taliban in the Afghan north; the two groups conduct joint attacks, and IMU leaders serve in the Taliban’s shadow government in some areas.”

India:

Outlook: Security forces in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir have killed a Hizbul Mujahideen militant during a prolonged gunbattle on Saturday.

“Security forces today gunned down one more Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Shopian district of south Kashmir after a two-day long gunned battle. The militant, identified as Mohammad Ashraf Rather alias Molvi, a resident of Nowpora, Pulwama was killed in the encounter, which started yesterday, in Vandena village in Zainapora area of Shopian, a police spokesman said here. Rather he is the second militant to be killed in the encounter.The militant killed in the encounter yesterday has been identified as Sajad Yousuf Mir of Litter Pulwama, the spokesman said.”

The Times of India: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are “proving ineffective” in tracking Maoist rebels, intelligence officials in India claim. 

“…The UAV, operated by the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) from the Begumpet airport, is meant to be used for anti-Maoist intelligence gathering in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. The information gathered by the drone is meant to be shared with various security agencies.

However, it is learnt that after the recent ambush on Congress leaders in Sukma district in Chhattisgarh, in which the Maoists killed 28 people, the UAV was of little use in locating the retreating Maoists. A decision has been taken now to relocate the UAV from Hyderabad to Bhilai in Chhattisgarh. State police officials said Andhra Pradesh would get another drone at a later stage as a replacement.” 

The Times of India: India has asked the US to “temporarily” hand over Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley for a year and to extradite his accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana to obtain more information about the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

“In its fresh efforts to get access to the Pakistani American terrorist, India has conveyed to the American interlocutors to ‘temporarily’ hand over Headley for a year after the US expressed its inability to extradite him.”

Daily News and Analysis: India and Nepal have agreed to share intelligence in an effort to limit terrorist activities across their border.

“The two sides agreed to tackle criminal activities such as human and drug trafficking, smuggling of Indian counterfeit currency and trade in illegal substances at the meeting. India and Nepal have agreed to exchange information to combat terrorism and curb criminal activities like human and drug trafficking and smuggling of Indian counterfeit currency across their open border.”

Bangladesh:

Bangladesh News 24 Hours: An Islami Chhatra Shibir-led strike in the town of Feni on Sunday has been marked by violence and explosions, with police firing shots and teargas to bring the strike undercontrol.

 “Three strikers were nabbed. Police lobbed teargas shells and fired from shotguns to bring the situation under control. Police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel were patrolling the streets, Feni Model Police Station Inspector Syed Mostafa told bdnews24.com.

At least 12 explosions were reported from Feni town, witnesses said. A battery-driven three-wheeler was burned down on Shahidullah Kaiser road around 10am. At least 10 more three-wheelers were vandalised in Lemua, Mahipal and other areas, bdnews24.com Feni Correspondent reported. Inspector Mostafa said police were compelled to fire to control the situation.”

Dhaka Tribune: Security personnel are monitoring at least 40 Islamist groups in the country, according to intelligence officials.

“Fearing militant attacks, law enforcers  have kept close and constant surveillance on at least 40 Islamist groups in the country.  According to the intelligence department, supporters of those Islamist outfits are plotting to launch militant attacks by whipping up the masses through anti-government propaganda. The members of law enforcing agencies were asked to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious by those Islamist organisations…”                                                                                  

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