Talibanists Display Their 280 Captured Pakistani Soldiers
Pro-Taliban Militants captured 280 Pakistani soldiers and 16 trucks last month.
A few Pakistani soldiers turned up this week… without their heads.
A militant with a Taleban flag on a captured army vehicle. (BBC)
The Pakistani government has not said much about this horrible situation.
280 soldiers disappeared near the Afghan border during a mission last month.
The Pakistani government did not immediately admit to their capture and the media has not reported much on the mass kidnapping of soldiers.
But, this week a BBC reporter got to see the 280 captives:
Pro-Taleban militants in Pakistan say the government is showing little urgency in securing the release of some 280 captured soldiers.
The militants captured them in the South Waziristan tribal region more than a month ago.
The BBC has been given exclusive access to the militants and the soldiers. The rebels are demanding the military withdraw from the area. The US says the area is a haven for pro-Taleban and Al Qaeda fighters.
“We are very serious about the matter and want to resolve it peacefully,” Zulfiqar Mehsud, a spokesman for militant leader Baitullah Mehsud told the BBC from the rebels’ base near the border with Afghanistan.
The kidnapped soldiers described their capture:
The militants also brought three of the soldiers to a walled compound to give the first accounts how they had been captured.
The soldiers did not want to talk but were pressurised by the Taleban to do so.
The commanding officer, Col Zafar, told the BBC that pro-Taleban tribesmen had stopped his convoy while he was taking supplies to remote army camps.
He said his superior officers instructed him to wait while they negotiated with the militant leadership.
This took more than four hours. By then the soldiers realised they were surrounded and it was too late to resist.
The soldiers said they have been treated well so far.
They were not aware that three of their comrades have already been killed by the militants in a move to put pressure on the government to accede to their demands.
The Talibanists captured the 300 Pakistani soldiers and 16 trucks on August 30th and have been holding them for over a month now. Reports that they had been found were not true.
200 have died in clashes in the region in the last three days. There are reports that government forces are finding dozens of soldiers with their throats slit.