Islamist Army of Hundreds Raids & Captures Pakistani Fort!!

Forgive the fear-mongering, but…
Hundreds of Islamists attacked and captured a Pakistani fort today killing and kidnapping dozens of Pakistani forces.

The BBC is reporting that there may have been up to 1,000 members in the Islamist army that took the fort.

An Islamic Army of 400 captured a Pakistani Fort last night in the South Waziristan tribal district.
Dawn News reported:

Dozens dead as Islamists capture Pakistan fort WANA, Pakistan, Jan 16 (AFP) Hundreds of militants overran a Pakistani paramilitary fort near the Afghan border Wednesday, sparking fierce fighting that left seven troops and up to 50 rebels dead, the army said. Another 20 troops were missing after insurgents armed with rocket launchers and assault rifles blasted their way into the remote outpost at Sararogha town in the South Waziristan tribal district. “Around midnight 400 miscreants attacked the Frontier Corps at Sararogha. The fort was captured by militants, we are taking stock of the situation,” chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP. “There are reports of 40 to 50 dead miscreants, while seven personnel embraced martyrdom.” Military sources said the fighters besieged the remote post in darkness before blowing up part of the walls using explosives, storming inside and taking control of the building. Abbas said soldiers responded with artillery before fleeing. Of 42 troops manning the fort, 15 had escaped to a separate base while the whereabouts of the remaining “stragglers” was not known, he added.

(First Posted @ 10:30 PST, Updated @ 17:53 PST)

Reuters reported that 700 militants took part in the raid and 30 soldiers went missing.

“About 700 militants attacked the fort at Sara Rogha at about 9:30 p.m. (1630 GMT on Tuesday) and communication with the fort was cut at around 2 a.m.,” a security official said.

“There were about 37 paramilitary troops in the fort and seven of them were able to escape while the rest of them are missing and feared dead,” said the official, who declined to be identified.

The area is said to the stronghold of the mastermind behind Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.
AFP reported:

The area is said to be a stronghold of Baitullah Mehsud, a tribal warlord with alleged links to Al-Qaeda who is accused by the government of masterminding the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

The Long War Journal reported on a similar incident, an attack on a paramilitary convoy, yesterday in the tribal region.

I don’t have the casualty numbers. I wish I did. But, this past month Pakistan has surpassed Iraq as the main front in the War on Terror.

UPDATE: The Long War Journal has a post up on the attack today.

Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and his pretty hair.
Bill Roggio has much more on including the radical Baitullah Mehsud suspected of being behind this massive attack:

The Sararogha region, which abuts the Afghan border, is a stronghold of Baitullah Mehsud (pictured above). Baitullah’s fighters captured a company-sized military convoy in South Waziristan during a complex military operation in early September 2007. The Taliban and al Qaeda operate 29 training camps in North and South Waziristan, and the Taliban have been organizing along the lines of military formations.

UPDATE 2: The militants left the fortress later on Wednesday without another fight.

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