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MIRANSHAH RAID

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Pakistani forces have recovered an unmanned Chinese-made drone aircraft (see – UAV) and a major weapons cache in a raid on a suspected Al Qaeda hideout in the tribal areas near Afghanistan, a top commander said on 09/14/2005.

Militants used the drone to spy on security forces in the rugged area, where Pakistani soldiers have been battling Islamic militants for more than a year, Lieutenant General Safdar Hussain told reporters.

The find, believed to be the first of its kind in Pakistan, came on the same day as President Pervez Musharraf unveiled plans to build a fence along part of the border with Afghanistan to curb the movement of militants. “The terrorists used the RPV (remotely-piloted vehicle) to check the position of security forces and attack them,” the general said, adding the drone was capable of carrying weapons.

A military officer from the army’s Signal Corps said the vehicle had a sophisticated, wide-angle camera to take pictures of targets on the ground, while General Hussain said they had seized a CD which pinpointed Pakistani troops.

Twenty-one people were arrested, on Monday 09/12/2005, in a raid on a compound owned by relatives of a former Taliban minister and religious school near Miranshah, capital of the North Waziristan FATA Region.

Security forces also found a “suicide jacket” and Jordanian, Afghan and Pakistani passports along with Al Qaeda training material from the compound. Additionally they uncovered a cache of weapons including 17 machine guns, 29 rockets, 51 grenades, eight improvised bombs and 10 landmines, he added.

Few days later two bombs exploded, on 09/22/2005, within an hour and a half, in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, Pakistan. Six people were killed and about 25 injured in the bombings.  It is unclear whether the bombing is related to the Miranshah  Raid.

 

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