Saturday, December 25, 2010

I wish it really were all like Four Lions

In the proud tradition of violent Islamic extremism being mostly counterproductive, a suicide bomber who seems to have been supporting Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (which has claimed responsibility against a rival group who had been taking over territory from TTP. They are referred to as "the Salarzai tribe," (though my reading in more specialized places suggests that going straight to tribal classifications is often not the best course, cough, understatement).

The counterproductive part is that while the bomber (gender apparently still in contention, no ID that I've seen anywhere) took out several of the intended targets, the chosen place for this event was...a World Food Programme event. The words coming to my mind go something like "I mean, honestly" but that doesn't seem right. It just seems, again, counterproductive--there was no other way to do this? Of course intimidation is a major part of coercing the local populace in any insurgency effort, but this sort of thing is not too far off from what lost al-Qaeda a lot of support elsewhere.

At any rate, 43 people were killed in this incident, and:

On Friday, a force of 150 militants in Mohmand Agency (just south of Bajaur), had targeted 5 checkpoints of the Frontier Corps, a Pakistani government paramilitary unit, killing 11 troops in the Safi and Baizai districts. Some 24 of the rebels were killed in a riposte by government sources. This attack also came in revenge for the Taliban having been expelled [by the Salarzai] from those areas of Mohmand Agency.

On Saturday, Pakistani troops using helicopter gunships came back after the insurgents, allegedly killing 40 of them in Baizai and Lakro villages.

This leaves the headline at "Over 80 Dead."

Juan Cole has a pretty good roundup of what all went down.

If only Four Lions were all there was to it.

[Note: embedded video is even worse now than it was before. Once upon a time I could adjust the size in the code, but not now, noooo. Link is all you get. Sorry.]

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