News from South Asia, Wednesday 5th June 2013

Pakistan:

Pakistan Today: A major terrorist attack has been foiled in Faisalabad. “According to details, police chased the suspects when they sped away from a checkpoint in Ghulam Muhammad Abad area. Later, the vehicle was found abandoned on a roadside. The suspects managed to escape from the scene.

The police recovered heavy weapons including three suicide vests, 60 hand grenades, four Kalashnikovs, wireless communication devices, bullets and explosives from the car.”

Afghanistan:

Voice of America: The Taliban are inflicting heavy losses on the Afghan National Army as indigenous forces take the lead for Afghanistan’s security. “U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a gathering where U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel joined NATO defense ministers to talk about the way forward in Afghanistan as international forces prepare to draw down next year.

As that drawdown nears, international troops are taking up more of a support role and it is the Afghans who are in the lead against the insurgents. Now on the front lines with international troops only providing backup, the Afghans are at risk for greater losses.

Several weeks into the fighting season, General Dunford said the Taliban has done what it said it would do: step up high-profile assaults and insider attacks to create fear and intimidation.”

Khaama Press: A senior Taliban leader has been killed in Wardak province. “NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) following a statement announced, ‘Afghan and coalition security force killed a senior Taliban leader, Obaidullah Jan, and two other extremists during an operation in Sayyidabad district, Wardak province, yesterday.

Jan had operational control of a group of fighters responsible for conducting numerous ambushes and other attacks against Afghan and coalition fighters. He also facilitated the movement of weapons and military equipment to local Taliban cells and was involved in the construction and emplacement of improvised explosive devices.’”

India:

Dawn: An Indian policeman and five others were injured in a grenade attack on Tuesday by suspected militants in Indian-administered Kashmir.

“‘Militants hurled a grenade at two army vehicles that were parked along the highway injuring a head constable and five civilians,’ superintendent of police, Ramesh Jala, told AFP over the phone.

No militant group claimed responsibility for the explosion in Anantnag town, 50 kilometres south of the main city of Srinagar. The attack comes less than a week after suspected militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen, one of around a dozen rebel groups said to be fighting to end Indian rule over Kashmir, killed two Indian soldiers in an ambush in which one militant also died.”

The Times of India: Maoist rebels and security personnel exchanged fire yesterday in the state of Chhatisgarh, with one member of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) being injured.

“In yet another Maoist attack on Tuesday, a constable of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was injured in an exchange of fire at Khallari in Dhamtari district.

Police sources said the exchange of fire took place in the afternoon, when CRPF men and district force were on a combing operation. ‘The rebels opened indiscriminate fire on noticing the troops approaching them. The security personnel Jeetendra Yadav, who sustained bullet injuries on his legs, was rushed to the district hospital,’ said a senior official. This is the second incident in a span of four days. A CRPF assistant commandant, S K Das, was killed in the same area on June 1 in an exchange of fire with Maoists.”

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