Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Trump, Guns and School Shootings: Can Students Help Change Gun Control Laws?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump, Guns and School Shootings:: Can Students Help Change Gun Control Laws?

Read more

FOCUS

What's behind Germany's steep drop in juvenile crime?

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Duck Duck Grey Duck, Femi Kuti, Starchild & the New Romantic

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Greek Cypriot negotiator: 'We stand a chance' of reunifying Cyprus

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Towards a European army? The future of defence for the EU

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Photographer Pete Souza shares his ‘portrait’ of Obama

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Syria's White Helmets: 'We had 400 casualties last week'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Donald Trump Jr.'s India visit raises eyebrows

Read more

Asia-pacific

Pakistan army arrest suspects in shooting of Malala

© Oli Scarff, POOL, AFP | Malala Yousafzai

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-09-12

Pakistan’s army said on Friday that it had arrested 10 militants suspected of involvement in the 2012 shooting of a young schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban for advocating gender equality and education for women.

Army spokesman Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa said the detained men attacked Yousafzai, then 16, on orders from Mullah Fazlullah, the head of the Pakistani Taliban. The army is currently waging a major offensive against the extremist group in North Waziristan, a tribal region along the border with Afghanistan that has long been a militant stronghold.

“The entire gang involved in the murder attempt... has been busted,” Bajwa said, adding that the “terrorists” were part of Tehrik-e-Taliban, an umbrella group encompassing militant organisations across the tribal areas.

Malala, a teenage activist who had called for expanding girls’ education in deeply conservative areas of Pakistan, was shot in the head in October, 2012 while returning from school. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack.

Malala was initially treated in Pakistan, but was later flown to a hospital in Britain, where she now lives with her family.

Malala is from the same region that was once home to Fazlullah, who was elevated to his current leadership position after his predecessor, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan.

Fazlullah has been on the run since 2009, when Pakistan launched a major offensive in the northwestern Swat Valley to eliminate militants who were trying to overthrow the government and impose a harsh version of Islamic law.

It is believed that Fazlullah is hiding in Afghanistan, and Bajwa said Pakistan had raised the issue with the Afghan government. Both countries have long accused each other of ignoring militants who launch cross-border attacks from their territory.

Details of arrest unclear

“We will continue our efforts until (Fazlullah) is arrested or killed,” Bajwa told a televised news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

He did not say when or where the men were captured, but said security agencies detained all 10 in a coordinated operation acting on information from one of the members of the cell. He said the head of the cell had also been arrested.

“The group acted upon the instructions of Mullah Fazlullah who, while based in Kunar, Afghanistan, passed instructions through his two associates,” he said. He added that it was a “known fact” that Fazlullah and other “terrorists” are hiding in Afghanistan.

The arrests come at a time when Pakistan’s military is carrying out a major operation against militants in North Waziristan. Pakistan launched the June 15 operation after militants attacked one of the country’s busiest airports, in the southern city of Karachi, shocking the nation.

The military says it has so far killed at least 975 militants and that the operation is “progressing” as planned.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2014-09-12

  • NIGERIA

    Malala seeks release of Nigerian schoolgirls

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Pakistan’s Malala awarded prestigious Sakharov prize

    Read more

  • USA

    Malala meets Obamas at White House

    Read more

COMMENT(S)