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'There will be more attacks in the days ahead'

Last updated on: November 13, 2009 12:25 IST
Tahir Ali reports for rediff.com from Islamabad:

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, led by Hakimullah Mehsud, has intensified its assaults on Pakistani security forces in the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan.

The Taliban claims to have killed more than 40 soldiers and destroyed two tanks on Thursday.

Speaking to this correspondent via a satellite phone from an undisclosed location in South Waziristan, Taliban commander Mufti Waliur Rehman claimed, "The mujahideen have killed more than 40 soldiers, destroyed two tanks and three vehicles of the security forces in Ladha. We were waiting for the army to come into our areas. It is the time to attack -- there will be more attacks in the days ahead."

"The videos of the slain soldiers, destroyed tanks, military vehicles and other achievements of the Taliban during the three-week operation will be released soon," Rehman added.

Earlier, the Pakistan army claimed that five soldiers and 22 militants were killed in Taliban attacks, but a security official later told a local reporter that over 15 security personnel had been killed in the clashes.

Taliban sources told rediff.com that Taliban leaders reviewed their strategy at a meeting in Ladha on November 8. Hakimullah Mehsud, Wali-ur Rehman Mehsud, Qari Husain, the head of the Fidayeen Islam Pakistan, and Shamim Mehsud, the amir of Ladha, participated in the meeting which decided upon a new phase of guerilla warfare.

Tahir Ali in Islamabad