Monday, June 29, 2009

Pakistan Places Bounties on Senior Taliban Leaders

Via The Long War Journal -

The Pakistani government has put out bounties for the capture or death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and 10 of his senior commanders operating in the lawless tribal agencies. Three senior Taliban leaders in North and South Waziristan were noticeably excluded, indicating that the government does not intend to take on these warlords.

The government announced the bounties in an advertisement in Pakistani newspapers.

Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, topped the list at an estimated price tag of $615,000.

Faqir Mohammed, the leader of the Taliban in Bajaur, came in second at $181,000.

Hakeemullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain Mehsud of South Waziristan, Omar Khalid and Qari Shakeel of Mohmand, and Commander Tariq Afridi of Darra Adam Khel each command a $123,000 bounty.

Qari Zia Rahman and Waliur Rahman of Bajaur, Fazal Saeed Utezai of Kurram, and Mufti Ilyas of Darra Adam Khel rounded out the list at $61,500 each.

The bounties for Baitullah and his deputies come a month after the government issued bounties for Swat Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah, his deputy Shah Doran, spokesman and military commander Muslim Khan, and 18 other leaders from the region. So far, those bounties have not led to the arrest or capture of the leaders.

Both Fazlullah and Shah Doran are rumored to have been killed, but the reports have not been confirmed. The government has arrested Falzullah's family.

Siraj Haqqani, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, and Mullah Nazir are absent from the wanted list.


Check out the CT blog's great Swat Analysis series of blogs for more information.

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