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Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 8, No. 22, December 7, 2009

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South Asia Terrorism Portal


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Assam: Watershed Transformations
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Year 2009 began with the serial bomb blasts on January 1 in three different areas of Guwahati city, which killed five persons and injured 50; it ended with the arrest of the United Liberation Front of Asom’s (ULFA’s) ‘chairman’, Arabinda Rajkhowa, and ‘deputy commander-in-chief’ Raju Baruah, crowning a succession of counter-insurgency successes in the State through the year. Rajkhowa and Baruah were arrested along with the ‘chairman’s’ bodyguard, Raju Bora, in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, long a safe haven for many top ULFA leaders, on December 2, 2009. The latest arrest is a further confirmation of the growing counter-terrorism co-operation between India and Bangladesh, after years of Bangladeshi support to insurgent groups active in India’s Northeast.

The movements of Arabinda Rajkhowa aka Rajib Rajkonwar had been under a Security Forces’ scanner in Bangladesh since September 2009, before he was arrested with some of his associates. Earlier, Bangladesh’s security agencies had arrested ULFA’s ‘foreign secretary’ Sashadhar Choudhury and ‘finance secretary’ Chitraban Hazarika from a house in Dhaka’s up-market Uttara locality on November 1, 2009. The two were also handed over to Indian authorities.

Apart from ULFA’s near-decapitation (among its ‘executive council’, only ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah is still at large, all others are now in Indian custody, or have surrendered to Indian authorities), the arrest of Jewel Gorlosa, ‘commander-in-chief’ of the Black Widow (BW) outfit, and the mass surrender of BW cadres in September and October 2009, in two phases, as well as the surrender of United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) militants, were the highlights of Assam’s counter-insurgency narrative in 2009.

Nevertheless, with at least 371 fatalities in the year, Assam remained the second most violent theatre of conflict in India’s Northeast, after its neighbour to the east, Manipur, which recorded 380 fatalities according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal database (till December 6). Data for the year demonstrates a significant increase in militant fatalities and a corresponding decline in civilian deaths, a clear indication that the state was gaining ground. A decline of nearly 32 per cent was recorded in the civilian category, while militant fatalities increased by 45 percent. SF fatalities rose marginally by under 17 per cent. It is, of course, still far too early to speak of a decisive victory, but there is sufficient evidence, including the mass surrender of cadres from two important militant outfits – BW and UPDS – along with significant numbers of cadres from other outfits, that the various insurgencies in Assam are on the wane.

Assam: Militancy-related Fatalities, 2005-2009












Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal
* Data till December 5, 2009

The substantial increase in number of incidents during the year, with 728 reported till December 6, the highest in the last five years, was predominantly due to the large number of arrests and surrenders recorded.

All 27 Districts of the State reported militant activity in 2009, with the Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills Districts being the worst affected. In terms of activity, the BW was the most effective outfit in 2009, with ULFA and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) following close behind. The Karbi Longri North Cachar Hills Liberation Front KLNLF and the All Adivasi National Liberation Army (AANLA) remained the principal peripheral militant groups. Further, the ethnic clash between the Zeme Naga (supported by the Nagaland-based NSCN-IM) and Dimasa (backed by the BW) tribes claimed the life of 43 civilians (according to the SATP database) in the North Cachar Hills District in 2009. However, the surrender of a large number of BW militants in the second half of 2009 provided some respite in this troubled District.

At least 28 major incidents (involving deaths of three or more persons) of militant violence, were reported from Assam in 2009. The most significant among these included:

November 22: Suspected ULFA militants triggered two powerful bomb blasts barely 50 meters from the Sadar Police Station in Nalbari town, killing eight people and injuring 53.

October 4: At least 11 persons were killed and ten injured in an attack by suspected militants of the anti-talks faction of the NDFB at Balichand area in the Sonitpur District.

July 1: Unidentified militants shot dead four children and a 25 year-old woman at Semkhor village in the North Cachar Hills District.

Five unidentified militants were shot dead in an encounter between the SFs and militants at Dehikata Reserve Forest in Goalpara District.

June 16: Suspected BW militants shot dead 12 persons, including eight children, and set ablaze 20 houses at Michidui village in the North Cachar Hills District.

June 3: Suspected BW militants shot dead five persons, including two children, and set ablaze 54 houses when they attacked Borchenam Basti, a Zeme Naga inhabited village under Haflong Police Station in the North Cachar Hills District.

May 19: 14 persons, including six NDFB militants, were killed in two separate incidents in the Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills Districts.

April 29: Violence between the Zeliangrong community and Cacharis in North Cachar Hills District continued for over two days, claiming 10 lives. The clashes between the two communities, the Zeme sub-tribe of the Zeliangrong tribe and the Cacharis (Dimasas) started after suspected BW militants killed nine Zemes on April 28.

April 20: BW militants shot dead six persons, including five SF personnel, in an ambush on the convoy of a private cement company’s vehicles in the North Cachar Hills District.

The Army killed five militants, including an accused in the Dhekiajuli blast of April 15, during an encounter at Aka Basti in the Sonitpur District. Of the five militants, Prabhat Basumatary, Krishna Basumatary and Deithang Basumatary belonged to the NDFB while Babul Ali and Yunis Ali were from the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA).

January 1: ULFA militants triggered serial bomb blasts in three different areas of Guwahati city, killing five persons, including a minor, and injuring 50. The first explosion took place around 2:25 pm (IST) in Birubari, followed by high-intensity explosions in the Bhootnath area (5:25 pm) and Bhangagarh area (5:40 pm).

Escalating violence in the North Cachar Hills District was particularly worrisome. The Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi informed the Legislative Assembly on May 30 that 70 militancy-related incidents had taken place in the North Cachar Hills District in just the preceding four months and at least 20 persons had been killed and more than 1,600 rendered homeless in the attacks.

Attacks on goods trains and the railway establishment by the BW outfit in North Cachar Hills, resulting in a disruption of supplies of essential goods in the area, gave further cause for concern, both to the State and Union Government. There were 12 incidents of BW cadres targeting trains and railway property, resulting in four SF fatalities. 16 SF personnel and 18 civilians also sustained injuries in these attacks. Some of the significant attacks on Railway infrastructure included:

April 11: Two Special Police Officers, Assistant Sub-Inspector Lalit Borgohain and Constable Biseswar Bora, were killed, and another was injured, when BW militants attacked a goods train at Dijaodra under Langting Police Station.

April 10: One Central Reserve Police Force constable was killed and 17 persons were injured when the BW militants opened indiscriminate fire on the Badarpur-Lumding Barak Express train.

The arrest of ‘chairman’ and ‘chief’ of the BW outfit, Jewel Gorlosa, from Bangalore, capital of the south Indian State of Karnataka, and the killing of Frankey Dimasa, the BW ‘foreign secretary’, in an encounter with the Guwahati Police on June 4, 2009, inflicted irreversible damage on the BW’s organizational structure and operational capacity. Reeling under this impact, around 193 BW militants later surrendered, along with their weapons, before the SFs, on September 13. The cadres first gathered at Thanalambra, about 35 kilometres from Haflong, District headquarters of North Cachar Hills, before proceeding to the 5th Assam Police Battalion headquarters at Sontilla, to deposit more than 70 weapons. The second batch of 180 BW militants surrendered arms on September 14, taking the total number of cadres to 373. In a formal surrender ceremony on October 2, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced financial assistance worth INR 500 million and promised more when 360 BW cadres formally surrendered at Haflong in North Cachar Hills. However, a splinter faction, led by James Dimasa, has made it clear that they intend to fight on. Jonadon Dimasa, spokesman of the splinter BW faction, reportedly told local media that they would not surrender.

A dangerous nexus between politicians and militants came to light with the arrest of Mohit Hojai, the Chief Executive Member of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council, on charges of allegedly giving INR 10 million to two persons for purchasing arms for the BW. The case was referred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). On November 17, NIA charge-sheeted Mohit Hojai and 13 others, including the BW’s ‘chief’ Jewel Gorlosa and ‘commander-in-chief’ Niranjan Hojai in this connection. The NIA also prayed before the court to summon Hojai, who is lodged in a designated camp after surrendering on October 2, 2009, along with other cadres of the outfit.

The ULFA received a succession of its worst setbacks with the arrest of ‘chairman’ Arabinda Rajkhowa, ‘deputy commander-in-chief’ Raju Barua, ‘foreign secretary’ Sashadhar Choudhury and ‘finance secretary’ Chitraban Hazarika. The ULFA ‘chairman’ and others are now in the judicial process in Guwahati, after being handed over to the Assam Police. These developments have largely been the consequence of a process orchestrated by the Centre to secure the return of the leadership of militants operating in the Northeast to Indian soil with assistance from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed’s friendly regime in Bangladesh.

The succession of arrests in 2009 have occurred after a gradual process of attrition that has decimated the top ULFA leadership over the years. Vice Chairman’ Pradip Gogoi was arrested on April 8, 1998, and is currently in judicial custody at Guwahati. ‘General Secretary’ Anup Chetia is under detention in Dhaka, after being arrested on December 21, 1997. The outfit’s founding member and ideologue Bhimakanta Buragohain, ‘publicity secretary’ Mithinga Daimary and ‘assistant secretary’ Bolin Das were arrested during the military operations in Bhutan in December 2003. Earlier, ‘cultural secretary’ Pranati Deka had been arrested at Phulbari in the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya on October 25, 2003. Crucially, the ULFA received a crippling blow when its ‘28th Battalion’, its most lethal formation in recent years, split down the middle with most top commanders and cadre surrendering, and declaring themselves in favour of a negotiated solution to the ‘Assam problem’.

The top leadership of the group has not changed much since its early years, and a second rung of leaders has not visibly evolved. Nevertheless, there is certainly a fair strength of foot-soldiers still available to the group’s ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah, both within the Northeast, and in neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Sashadhar Choudhury and Chitraban Hazarika, on November 15, had claimed that Paresh Baruah was the main leader currently running the group. Baruah, they disclosed, was constantly shifting between China, Myanmar and Thailand, and still had strong contacts in China. They further confessed that Paresh Baruah was not just procuring arms from Chinese manufacturers, but also selling them to other militant groups such as the NDFB, National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), All Tripura Tigers Force (ATTF) and the Communist Party of India – Maoist (CPI-Maoist). These revelations by two top ULFA leaders corroborate Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai’s claims, on November 8, 2008, that "Chinese are big smugglers... suppliers of small arms. I am sure that the CPI-Maoist also gets them."

Curiously, at a time when the ULFA is under its worst existential threat since its formation on April 7, 1979, it is the Government – both at the Centre and the State – that appears most desperate to push for a negotiated solution. The result has only been to encourage increasing inflexibility on the part of the ULFA leadership – both those in custody and outside. Arrested leaders have been grandstanding – under guard of their benign police escorts – making public declarations of their determination to continue their ‘fight for sovereignty’, and refusing to accept any talks while any ULFA leader is in jail. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi declared, on December 3, "I have all along been convinced that the problem of insurgency has to arrive at some sort of political solution…If Paresh Baruah comes that is well and good but my personal view is that a dialogue can begin without him. This is also the desire of the people of Assam who favour a peaceful solution of insurgency."

However, three prominent jailed ULFA leaders — ‘vice-chairman’ Pradip Gogoi, former ‘publicity secretary’ Mithinga Daimary and ‘cultural secretary’ Pranati Deka — reportedly foresee a bleak future for the peace talks if Arabinda Rajkhowa initiates such a move sidelining Paresh Baruah and ‘violating’ ULFA’s ‘constitution’. At the moment, the chances of Paresh Baruah joining talks within pre-conditions laid down by the Union Government appear remote, and he has released a message through a member of the People’s Consultative Group (PCG), Hiranya Saikia, asserting that the struggle for Assam’s sovereignty would continue even if some members of the rebel group come forward for talks by giving up the demands and ideology of the ULFA.

Other than the BW and ULFA, another prominent formation that has remained active in Assam is the anti-talks faction (Ranjan Daimary group) of the NDFB. This group killed 16 civilians and three SF personnel in 2009. In one of these incidents, an Army Colonel, S.M. Perumal, and a trooper were killed in an IED blast at Chariduar in the Sonitpur District. A number of abduction and extortion cases have also been registered by the Police against NDFB cadres. SF operations against the group have resulted in 61 militant fatalities in 2009. There has also been a series of surrenders in the recent past, with at least 63 militants from the anti-talks faction laying down arms thus far in 2009. Among these, 42, including a number of ‘corporals’ and ‘lance corporals’, mostly from the outfit’s "4th battalion", surrendered before the Assam Police at Mushalpur in Baksa District on January 13. "The organisation no longer has the old ideology and we have lost confidence in the leadership. So we decided to surrender," 27-year-old ‘corporal’ Dino Boro is reported to have confessed. There have also been reports that Ranjan Daimary was arrested by the Bangladesh Security Forces in early November, but these remain officially unconfirmed.

Parliamentary elections in Assam were conducted in two phases on April 16 and April 23, 2009. An estimated 62 per cent votes were cast. Polling was, by and large, peaceful except for some minor incidents of militancy-related violence.

After the serial bomb blasts of October 30, 2008, and January 1, 2009, the State Government had tried to strengthen security measures in Assam. On January 10, the Assam Legislative Assembly passed the Assam Preventive Detention (Amendment) Act, 2009, increasing the period of detention without trial of any person hindering the security of the State from six months to two years. The amendment changed section 13 of the existing Assam Preventive Detention Act, 1980. The amendment stated that a State Government officer, not below the rank of secretary or District magistrate, if satisfied, could order detention of any person with a view to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the state, maintenance of law and order and also maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community. Further, on January 18, it was decided to establish four anti-terrorism training schools in Assam. The then Director General of Police (DGP), G.M. Srivastava, stated, "The training schools would certainly add teeth to the anti-terror operations in the State and the implications of the same would be there to be seen in other States of the North East." The Assam Police is also reported to have prepared a list of organisations, including Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), which are allegedly providing support – including finances – to ULFA, especially its ‘709th battalion’. A senior Police official disclosed, "Most of these organisations have their operations in lower Assam. They have been paying to the ULFA in recent times. We have the names of a few such agencies and are investigating their credentials. We will go after them once we have a watertight case." The names of these organisations were found in a diary recovered from a spot at Kalagaon in Udalguri District early in April 2009, where ULFA leader Akash Thapa had a narrow escape, he added. The Assam Government, on April 28, also initiated action against a leading tea company for aiding a militant outfit and has also taken action against Government officials accused of diverting development funds to the rebels.

The big story emerging from Assam in 2009 is the disarray of among the most important militant groups operating in the State. Augmenting counter-terrorism co-operation between India and Bangladesh has created panic among these outfits, who had long taken their safe havens and state support in Bangladesh for granted. With the latest arrests and handing over to Indian authorities of militant leaders like Shashadhar Choudhury, Chitrabhan Hazarika, Arabinda Rajkhowa and Raju Barua, who have led a lethal terrorist campaign for the last 30 years, the arrest of at least 494 militants and 732 surrenders during 2009, along with some of the leading militant groups such as BW and UPDS seeking to enter a negotiation process, there have certainly been watershed changes in the State. It remains to be seen whether the Government will display the necessary wisdom to consolidate these advantages, or will waste them through ill-conceived initiatives or a lapse into complacence.


Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
November 30 –December 6, 2009



Security Force Personnel





Left-wing Extremism








Left-wing Extremism


Andhra Pradesh






Uttar Pradesh


West Bengal


Total (INDIA)











Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


ULFA ‘chairman’ Arabinda Rajkhowa along with ‘deputy commander-in-chief’ Raju Baruah arrested in Dhaka: The ‘chairman’ of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Arabinda Rajkhowa and ‘deputy commander-in-chief’ Raju Baruah, were arrested in Dhaka on December 2. Arabinda Rajkhowa and Raju Baruah were handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) near Dawki sector of the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya in the morning of December 4, along with their family members. Official sources said that they were handed over to the Assam Police later. A team of the Assam Police brought them to Guwahati and they have been kept in the Assam Police’s Special Branch headquarters at Kahilipara area of Guwahati. Assam Tribune, December 3-5, 2009.


Country foiled 12 terror attacks, says Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram: India foiled 12 terror attacks in the last one year, but it cannot afford to lower its guard as Pakistan has not changed its approach, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in Parliament on December 2. "There has been no terror attack in the last one year and two days. In fact, we have foiled a dozen terror attacks," Chidambaram said, while replying to a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) on the internal security situation. "Against Pakistan, we have built capacity but we remain vulnerable as our adversary has not changed his approach," the Home Minister added. Chidambaram had referred to Pakistan during question hour too, saying the sub-continental peace process would not be resumed unless Islamabad took concrete action against the perpetrators of the November 26, 2008 (also known as 26/11) Mumbai attacks. Sify, December 4, 2009.

Infiltration on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir: The Union Government said on December 1 that there was increase in the number of infiltration cases along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir during 2009. According to the data furnished by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mullappally Ramachandran, in reply to a written question in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament), 395 cases of apprehension of infiltration were reported in 2009 as compared to 342 in 2008. There were 573 cases of apprehension of infiltration reported in 2006 and 535 in 2007 along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Minister said that Government has increased the budget for road construction and fencing on the India-Pakistan border by nearly 300 per cent. "Along Indo-Pakistan border, the Government has approved revision of cost estimates in fencing, floodlighting, roads and Border Outposts works from the earlier sanctioned Rs 380 crore to Rs 1,201 crore," he said. The Minister said 1,915 km of fencing and 1,861 km of floodlighting works had been completed on the India-Pakistan border, out of 2,043 km of fencing and 2,009 km of floodlighting sanctioned by the Government. "Out of 340 km of border roads sanctioned by the Government in Gujarat sector on the Indo-Pakistan border, the construction works of 219 km of border roads have been completed," he added.

Meanwhile, there was a decline in possible infiltration along the India-Bangladesh border with 2,098 cases reported in 2009, as against 3,175 in 2008. The Minister observed that "there is no specific input about nexus between insurgent groups and illegal Bangladeshi migrants in general." The strengthening of infrastructure on the India- Bangladesh border is also on the anvil with nearly 150 per cent hike in the budget to improve fencing, floodlights and roads. "The Government has approved the revision of targets of fencing and road works along the India-Bangladesh border from earlier sanctioned works of 2,429 km of fencing and 797 km of roads to 2,579 km and 1,422 km, respectively, under Phase-2," he said. "Out of 3,436 km of fencing and 4,326 km of border roads sanctioned by the Government on the Indo-Bangladesh border, the construction work of 2,677 km of fencing and 3,330 km of border roads has been completed," he disclosed. Daily Excelsior, December 2, 2009.


112 militants and 11 civilians among 125 persons killed during the week in FATA: Eight militants were killed and as many sustained injuries in attacks by fighter jets in lower parts of Orakzai Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on December 6. Also, two anti-Taliban tribal elders were killed and another two injured in a remote-controlled bomb blast in Malangi area, sources said. The bomb went off near a mosque, killing the two elders, Khan Wali and Rehmatullah, and injuring Abdul Wadud and Abdul Hadi.

Around 40 Taliban militants attacked an Army checkpoint at Wana in FATA, killing one Security Force (SF) trooper on December 5. Six Taliban militants were also killed in retaliatory firing. Taliban militants in Ladha area of South Waziristan also killed one soldier, as troops continued the ongoing military operation in the region.

Eight militants were killed and their three hideouts destroyed on December 4 in strikes carried out by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets in Ferozkhel area of Orakzai Agency. The jets also destroyed a militant arms depot. Separately, six persons were killed and 13 injured when a bus carrying a marriage party hit a landmine in Safi sub-division of Mohmand Agency. In Bajaur Agency, militants attacked security checkpoints on the outskirts of the main town of Khar. "It was an organised attack. Troops effectively repulsed it, and five militants were killed in the retaliatory fire," Fazal Rabbi, deputy commander of the local tribal Police force, stated.

Planes bombed a number of areas in Warh Mamond and Nawagai sub-divisions of Bajaur Agency on December 2, killing four militants and injuring three. Official sources said the Security Forces targeted militant positions in the Kharkay, Anga, Almazo and Gotki areas in Mamond sub-division, and Sharif Khana and Shah Khana in Nawagai. Further, militant ‘commander’ Mulla Launcher and one of his accomplices were killed and six others sustained injuries in clashes with the SFs in various areas of Kurram Agency.

At least four militants were killed and seven sustained injuries when the SFs attacked the headquarters of the proscribed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Dabori area of upper Orakzai Agency in the night of December 1. Separately, unidentified assailants killed three tribal leaders in Orakzai Agency, official sources said. The deceased, identified as Malik Gul Haider, Malik Sabz Ali and Malik Mir Aslam Khan, were killed in an ambush in the Oblan area. In addition, the SFs killed four militants in Bara sub-division of Khyber Agency.

The SFs killed 61 militants and arrested 85 others during the ongoing operation Khwakh Bad-e-Shum in Khyber Agency, security officials said on November 30. Briefing reporters at the Bara Fort, operation in-charge Brigadier Fayyaz Khan said 25 vehicles were also destroyed during the operation. Brigadier Khan said the SFs had captured several important areas and hideouts in Tirah Valley and had also destroyed several terrorist centres. He said the SFs discovered tunnels in Bara, where the terrorists used to keep abducted people. Brigadier Khan stated that the troops were advancing towards Gurgury and Shin Qamar areas, believed to be the strongholds of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Islam (LI). In addition, 10 militants were killed and 13 injured when the SFs raided militant training camps in Dhol Ragha area of Kurram Agency. Seven injured militants, including their commander, were arrested and three hideouts destroyed, officials said. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, December 1-7, 2009.

46 militants and 4 civilians among 50 persons killed during the week in NWFP: Five Taliban militants, including ‘local commander’ Gul Maula, were killed in a clash with the Security Forces (SFs) in Dangram area in suburbs of Mingora city in Swat District of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) on December 6. Sources said ‘commander’ Gul Maula and his four accomplices, identified as Tariq, Khadim Shah, Muhammad Ali and Ejaz, were killed during a gun battle with the SFs. Troops also arrested as many as 19 Taliban militants in the ongoing operation Rah-e-Rast in Swat and Malakand. In Lower Dir District, the SFs killed eight terrorists hiding in a house in Maidan area, Army spokesman Maj. Suleman Hanif disclosed. Police commandos acting on a tipoff killed one terrorist and arrested another five in a raid on a terrorist cell accused of orchestrating the recent attacks around Peshawar, authorities said.

The SFs killed a Taliban ‘commander’, Zahir Shah, during a military operation in Tal area of Hangu on December 5.

On December 3, SFs killed 13 militants during raids at two locations in Swat while two bullet-riddled bodies were found dumped elsewhere in the District. In the Hangu District, 10 militants were killed in a clash and 128 wanted criminals were arrested during a joint operation by the Police and the Frontier Constabulary.

Five militants were killed in an exchange of fire with the SFs in Palai area of Malakand Agency on December 2. Further, in Shangotai area of Matta sub-division in Swat District, the bodies of two persons, Shah Ji and his son Yaqub, were found. They were reported to have had links with the Taliban and were wanted in several militancy-related cases.

Dr. Shamsher Ali Khan, the Awami National Party legislator from Swat in the NWFP Assembly, was killed and 13 persons were injured in a suicide attack on his house in Dherai area of Kabal sub-division on December 1. A man with explosives strapped to his body walked unchallenged into the grounds of Khan’s house and blew himself up, killing the legislator, sources said. Meanwhile, unidentified assailants killed the chief of a local peace committee in the Swabi District, official sources said on December 1. Sources said that pro-Taliban militants killed Ambar Pakhpokha, head of a local peace committee. The Taliban have subsequently claimed responsibility for the killing. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, December 1-7, 2009.

40 persons killed in Rawalpindi: 40 persons, including 17 children, besides serving and retired Army officers and personnel, were killed and over 86 were injured, when a Friday congregation at the Parade Lanes mosque in Rawalpindi was attacked by a group of terrorists on December 4. The high number of casualties was caused by hurling of grenades and indiscriminate firing by the terrorists, reportedly numbering between six and eight. According to latest reports, two of the terrorists blew themselves up while two others were shot dead in an exchange of fire with the Security Forces (SFs). Exhaustive combing of the densely-populated locality was being carried out by the SFs to flush out the other terrorists, who reportedly managed to escape from the spot and took refuge in the vicinity. The mosque is predominantly frequented by serving and retired Army officers, soldiers and members of their families and is not open to civilians living in the area. A serving Major General, a Brigadier, one Colonel and two Lt-Colonels were among the officers killed in the attack. The Jang, December 5, 2009.


The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

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