Tahir Yuldashev (Sobaka)
You’ve heard of Osama and Zawahri. There are tens of thousands of others. Meet Tahir Yuldashev. From AFP, :
A senior Al-Qaeda leader was injured and on the run in Pakistan, a military spokesman said as a bloody 12-day offensive to capture foreign Islamic militants and their local supporters appeared to be drawing to a close.
“Tahir Yuldashev is one of the top Al-Qaeda leaders and is also head of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,” Major General Shaukat Sultan told AFP. “He has been injured along with his local faciliators in the ongoing military operation near Wana and is hiding somewhere.”
Yuldashev is the most wanted man in Uzbekistan and is considered a close confidant of Osama bin Laden. In 1999, he was sentenced to death in his absence for a series of bombing in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.
The military operation, the largest of its kind ever carried out in Pakistan, began on March 16 to capture Al-Qaeda militants and their local backers in the tribal area of South Waziristan.
“Intelligence sources and other information gathered from those apprehended during operation indicate that over sixty miscreants have been killed, while scores of them injured since March 16,” a military statement said.
Intelligence officials said Yuldashev had taken refuge in South Waziristan some time after the US-led military campaign ousted the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in late 2001.
The military statement claimed the operation had succeeded in destroying a sancutary for terrorists.
“A hardened den of miscreants has been completely dismantled,” it said.
“A variety of explosives, timebomb devices, communication equipment and a wide range of weaponry retrieved from the stronghold, the type of fighting, trenches and tunnel in the area are indication of their involvement in terrorist activities.”
Over 160 “miscreants” have been apprehended live so far, the statement said.
“We have achieved our target; we have destroyed and dismantled the terrorists’ sanctuary,” Sultan earlier told AFP.
Sultan would not declare the operation over, but another senior army official said the operation would be wrapped up by Sunday at the latest.