Taliban video highlights revenge on Pakistan military
Saud Mehsud, Reuters
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) – Fifteen Pakistani soldiers stood blindfolded, handcuffed to each other on a barren hilltop as one of their bearded Taliban captors held an AK-47 rifle and spoke with fury about revenge.
He left no doubt what would come at any second.
Pakistan’s Taliban abducted the paramilitary troops on December 23 from near the country’s lawless tribal areas to avenge military operations.
Now they have released a video as a warning to Pakistan’s 600,000-member army, which has failed to break the back of the insurgents despite superior firepower and a series of offensives against their strongholds in forbidding mountain regions.
“Twelve of our comrades were besieged and mercilessly martyred in the Khyber Agency (area),” said the militant.
“Our pious women were also targeted. To avenge those comrades, we will kill these men. We warn the government of Pakistan that if the killing of our friends is not halted, this will be the fate of you all.”
Before death, one of the men described how dozens of Taliban fighters stormed their fort in the northwestern Tank district and kidnapped the soldiers.
“They attacked us with rockets, killed a sentry. One ran away. The Taliban entered the fort and captured us with our weapons,” he said, sitting in rows with other soldiers with their arms folded and legs crossed in front of Taliban banners.
“They tied our hands, put us in a Datsun and took us away.”
The video then shows the men standing quietly. Taliban chanting can be heard. “We will cross all limits to avenge your blood,” it said, referring to fighters killed by Pakistani security forces.
One of the men shoves a clip into his assault rifle and fires a few rounds into the back of the heads of a few of the soldiers. “God is greatest,” the Taliban yell.