Taliban kill rival Samiullah Khan in Swat

Nov 30, -0001
MINGORA: Taliban killed a chief opponents in the Swat valley, once a tourism centre, residents and officials said on Tuesday.
Violence has surged in the Swat Valley, 12 km (8 miles)
northwest of Islamabad, since August when government forces
launched a fresh offensive to clear militants from what was
until recently one of Pakistan's main tourist destinations.
But residents of the scenic mountain valley and a senior
government politician said increasingly brazen militant attacks
were raising fear the military was losing control.
The militants killed one of their biggest rivals in the
valley on Sunday. Samiullah Khan was a pir, or spiritual
leader, who had raised a militia to fight the Taliban.
"They were chasing him for some time and found him at home.
An exchange of fire took place in which the militants killed
Pir and seven of his followers," said Gul Noor, police chief in
the valley's Matta town.
The militants also captured 24 of Khan's men.
In a grim show of defiance, the militants dug up Khan's
body on Monday and strung it up in Matta's main square,
residents said.
A spokesman for the Taliban in the valley, Muslim Khan,
said a Taliban council would decide the fate of Khan's 24
supporters.
The army has also been battling militants in the Bajaur
region on the Afghan border, to the west of Swat.
Pakistan says it is committed to uprooting terrorism and
has rejected Indian accusations levelled after last month's
attacks in Mumbai that it is not doing enough to stop the
militants.
In the latest violence in Swat, militants attacked the home
of Afzal Khan Lala, a leader of the Awami National Party (ANP)
late on Monday night, police said.
"REIGN OF TERROR"
The ANP is a liberal, ethnic Pashtun-based party and since
February elections, it has ruled in North West Frontier
Province and is part of Pakistan's ruling coalition government.
Khan was not at home and even his servants had fled in fear
of the militants, Noor said.
Valley residents and another ANP politician complained the
army wasn't doing enough.
"We called the army for help but they did not come and left
us to the mercy of Allah," said resident Khaista Gul, referring
to the Sunday attack on Khan.
Haji Muhammad Adeel, an ANP vice president, said the police
were all but powerless to tackle the well-armed militants.
"We don't know who's controlling the region but at least
we're not. The militants are operating openly," Adeel said.
"Police don't have the capacity to fight an insurgency and
all this is happening in the presence of a well-trained army.
What's going on?"
A senior military official in Swat acknowledged the
insurgency being waged from remote mountains had intensified,
but he said the army had a strategy.
"We're fighting a guerrilla war. They operate in small
groups. They're not in towns but do use population as a
shield," said the officer, who declined to be identified.
"They are trying to create a reign of terror among the
local population and we have to tackle it and we're on it."
Separately, insurgents attacked a security check post in
the Mohmand region on the Afghan border on Tuesday and seven
militants and one soldier were killed, paramilitary officials
said.

Taliban

Swat

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