Security forces killed key al Qaeda leader Adnan el Shukrijuma and rounded up several suspected militants on Saturday during a targeted operation in Wana subdivision of South Waziristan Agency.
According to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), security forces raided a hideout of militants in Shin Warsak area of South Waziristan and killed el Shukirjuma and several of his accomplices during an encounter. Shukrijuma was indicted in the United States for his alleged involvement in a plot to bomb New York’s subway system.
The ISPR said el Shukirjuma had recently relocated to South Waziristan to evade Operation Zarb-e-Azb, which is being carried out in North Waziristan Agency. “The al Qaeda leader was hiding in a local compound in the area,” it said.
Adnan el Shukrijuma was a member of the core al Qaeda leadership and was in-charge of all its external operations, the ISPR statement said, adding that during the raid a soldier also lost his life while another was critically injured. Shin Warsak area is located about 12 kilometres south-west of Wana Bazaar, which is situated close to the Pak-Afghan border. Local sources said all routes leading to the area were closed while all the communication links, including landline telephones, were severed during the operation. Locals were confined in their homes due the operation while Wana Bazaar remained closed till noon.
A local resident, Shahza Din, told The Express Tribune that Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps personnel raided a house in the area and later they heard firing for a long time. Some other locals said five Punjabi Taliban and several other suspects were also arrested during the operation.
According to some other sources, the operation was in fact carried out in Kari Kot area, not in Shin Warsak. They said security officials raided a house in Batai area of Kari Kot, where mostly Afghan refugees are settled.
Separately, a militant was killed and three others received injuries when security forces retaliated against an assault on a check post in Shawal area on Saturday. A security official was also injured during the clash.
An official said unidentified militants attacked a check post at Bush Sar mountain in Shahwal area, which is located at the border of South and North Waziristan agencies.
“Due to militants’ firing, a soldier got injured. Later, security forces struck back, killing a militant and injuring three of his accomplices,” he said. No militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2014.