Militants Flee Pakistan After Cross-Border Attack
Jul 13, 2012
Associated Press| by Anwarullah Khan
Add a Comment
KHAR, Pakistan -- Dozens of militants who came from Afghanistan to attack a village in Pakistan's northwest and took scores of hostages fled back across the border, leaving behind the captives and carrying the bodies of 15 fighters killed in a battle with the army, Pakistani officials said Friday.
Elsewhere in the country, a bomb exploded near a political rally in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing at least five people, officials said.
The militants who staged the cross-border attack Thursday around 2 p.m. local time came from Afghanistan's Kunar province and appeared to be targeting members of an anti-Taliban militia in Kitkot village near Pakistan's Bajur tribal area, according to Pakistani officials.
Pakistan has railed against Afghan and NATO forces for not doing enough to stop the rising number of cross-border attacks, which it says have killed dozens of members of its security forces. However, there has been little sympathy from the U.S. and Afghan governments, which have long complained Pakistan allows sanctuary to militants fighting in Afghanistan.
The militants fled Kitkot under the cover of darkness around midnight Thursday, said Framosh Khan, a government official in the surrounding area. Locals reported seeing them carrying the bodies of 15 dead fighters, he said. Two anti-Taliban militiamen were also killed in the fighting.
Pakistani soldiers managed to free dozens of villagers who were taken hostage by the militants or were trapped in their homes during the fighting, said Khan.
The information could not be independently verified because the area is largely off-limits to reporters.
The bombing in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, appeared to target a rally being held by the Awami National Party, which has been attacked many times before because of its opposition to Islamist militants.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
In addition to the five people killed, 11 others were wounded, said Mohammed Jafar, a doctor at the city's main hospital. Most of the victims were attending the political rally when the bomb went off.
Baluchistan is home to both Islamist militants and Baluch nationalists, who have been waging a decades-long insurgency against the government for greater autonomy and a larger share of the province's natural resources.
-- Associated Press writer Abdul Sattar contributed to this report from Quetta, Pakistan.
Nemo me impune lacesset,
|"The chief aim of all government is to preserve the freedom of the citizen. His control over his person, his property, his movements, his business, his desires should be restrained only so far as the public welfare imperatively demands. The world is in more danger of being governed too much than too little.
It is the teaching of all history that liberty can only be preserved in small areas. Local self-government is, therefore, indispensable to liberty. A centralized and distant bureaucracy is the worst of all tyranny.
Taxation can justly be levied for no purpose other than to provide revenue for the support of the government. To tax one person, class or section to provide revenue for the benefit of another is none the less robbery because done under the form of law and called taxation."
John W. Davis, Democratic Presidential Candidate, 1924. Davis was one of the greatest trial and appellate lawyers in US history. He also served as the US Ambassador to the UK.