PAKISTAN DEPLOYS 8,000 MORE TROOPS TO TRIBAL BELT
In the wake of intense fighting between tribal fighters and foreign Uzbek militants in South Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan is sending an additional 8,000 troops to the region. Presently, 80,000 Pakistani troops are deployed in the tribal belt, which is located on the Afghan border. Pakistan’s The News reported that the new deployment is part of a major operation in North and South Waziristan (Pakistan Times, April 2; The News, April 1). Officially, however, the influx of troops is part of a “release and rotation process.” The purpose of the operation is to allegedly rout foreign terrorists and fighters who live in the tribal areas, similar to the operations led by tribal elements against Uzbek militants in mid and late March. According to The News, the main flashpoints for the new troops will be Mir Ali in North Waziristan, and Kaloosha, Azam Warsak and Shin Warsak in South Waziristan (The News, April 1).
ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ’S KURDISTAN BRIGADES ATTACK PUK
On March 20, the Islamic State of Iraq posted a statement on jihadi forums claiming a March 12 attack on “a car of the apostates from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan on Penguin Road in al-Sulaymaniyah.” The attack was undertaken by operatives from the Sharah Zwor detachment of the Islamic State of Iraq’s “Kurdistan Brigades.” After announcing that the Islamic State of Iraq will continue attacks against Kurdish peshmerga, the rest of the statement breaks off into Quranic verse, asking God to “crush the cunning rejectionists, the Zionist crusaders and their allies.”
THAILAND TO OPEN PRISON FOR MUSLIM WOMEN IN YALA
In a sign of the growing number of women involved in southern Thailand’s insurgency, the government has announced the creation of a prison to hold Muslim women. The prison will be located in the police forward command compound in Yala, and will be staffed by female authorities (Bangkok Post, March 28). According to Thailand Fourth Army commander Lt. Gen. Viroj Buacharoon, Muslim women are involved in southern Thailand’s insurgency by planting bombs, transporting weapons material such as firearms and protesting against the government.