“The attack drove home the lack of government control in the tribal region.” Again.
“Militants seize shrine in Pakistan,” by Riaz Khan for the Associated Press:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Pro-Taliban fighters seized an Islamic shrine in restive northwestern Pakistan and renamed it after the Red Mosque, where dozens of
militants died this month in a showdown with government forces in the capital, officials said Monday.
We usually see “restive” used to describe southern Thailand. Is it becoming a synonym for “jihad-stricken?”
The attack drove home the lack of government control in the tribal region, where a local government official said authorities were trying to negotiate the militants’ peaceful departure from the shrine.
About 70 pro-Taliban militants overran the shrine of renowned Pashtun freedom
fighter Sahib Turangzai and its adjoining mosque in Mohmand tribal region late Sunday, a militant representative said.
They evicted the mosque’s caretakers, renamed it and declared their support for Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the deputy cleric of the Red Mosque, who had spearheaded an increasingly aggressive, Taliban-style anti-vice campaign in the capital.
Troops finally cracked down on the mosque and Ghazi was killed along with at least 101 other people after a weeklong siege that ended July 12.
In Mohmand, the militants vowed to set up a girls’ seminary at the site “” reminiscent of the one in Islamabad where the anti-vice campaign was centered and that was
demolished by authorities after the siege.
“We will ensure education here for students who were dispersed after the operation against Lal Masjid in Islamabad,” Khalid Omar, a man who claims to speak for the
militants, said in telephone calls to journalists in Peshawar.
A government official in Mohmand, who sought anonymity because he was not
authorized to speak to journalists, confirmed the militants had taken control of the shrine. He said authorities have sought the help of tribal elders to get the militants to leave the area peacefully.