Heavily Armed Pakistani Taliban Militants: Kidnap 400 Students and Staff

June 1, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Pakistani Taliban militants stepped up the pressure on the already overextended military and police forces on Monday, by boldly stopping and taking hostage, a caravan of at least 400 students, staff and relatives of an all boys school in the tribal region along the Afghanistan border. The Taliban militants were heavily armed with rockets, Kalashnikovs, hand grenades and other weapons.

The hostages were leaving Razmak Cadet College in North Waziristan in 30 buses and other vehicles. It’s been reported the militants in the Bakka Khel area are holding the hostages and police are currently negotiating with tribal elders for their release.

At least one bus of 29 students escaped, with reports of an additional group of 17, including staff members, who managed to flee undetected to a nearby police station.

This new action by the Taliban comes as Pakistani forces are engaged in a concentrated and violent effort to rid the Swat Valley region of the Taliban militants.

Military forces see this kidnapping in the remote Waziristan tribal region as a diversionary tactic meant to dilute Pakistani forces, and perhaps force them to establish a second front along South Waziiristan, which is infested with Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.

The mountainous region of South Waziiristan is the headquarters of Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and the probable hideout of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri.

Since the Pakistani military operation in the Swat region, the Taliban have increased their attacks on civilians and government sites and this latest kidnapping is most likely just the beginning.



One Response to “Heavily Armed Pakistani Taliban Militants: Kidnap 400 Students and Staff”

  1. Pakistani Army Rescues Student Hostages From Taliban | ChattahBox News Blog on June 2nd, 2009 8:11 am

    […] dozens of Pakistani students and staff taken hostage by heavily armed Taliban militants on Monday are now recovering from their ordeal in Bannu, […]

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