Taliban take German militants’ bodies for burial

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PESHAWAR - Islamist militants have retrieved the bodies of eight German and two Turkmen killed in an alleged US drone attack and taken them for burial, Pakistani security officials said Tuesday.

They were killed Monday night in a missile strike by suspected US drones in Mausakee area of Mirali, one of the main towns in North Waziristan, a known hotbed of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.

“Taliban sealed off the area after the attack and dug through the rubble to recover the bodies,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

He said three mutilated and burnt bodies were collected in separate sheets of cloth and buried Tuesday in Haasoo Khel village, 1.5 km south of Mirali, one of the main towns in the district.

The bodies of seven others were first taken to the Khaisur Road area of North Waziristan, and later moved to Jani Khel village in the semi-autonomous Frontier Region Bannu.

The official said preparations were being made for their burial.

A second intelligence official who also did not want to be named said out of eight Germans, five were native converts and three were of Turkish origin. A German locally known as Abid Fayyaz, the operational head of a failed plot to target European nations, was among the dead.

The official said two other key German militants killed included a master trainer and one in operational charge of attacks in Afghanistan.

A local Taliban member, Sher Maula Khan, owned the compound adjacent to a market, which he rented out to the German believed to be involved in a recent plot to attack Germany, France and Britain.

Pakistan and European intelligence officials claimed last month they had exposed a major terror plot to carry out Mumbai-style attacks in Europe, after the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba killed more than 160 people in Mumbai, India’s financial hub, in November 2008.

Dozens of European militants, including from Germany, have moved to Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas. Most of them are part of Ittehad-e-Jihad Islami (Islamic Jihad Union), set up in 2009 to enlist European youth for jihad.

The Ittehad-e-Jihad Islami is thought to have militants from the main EU nations including at least 60 from Germany. It is an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan that attracts recruits from across Central Asia.

The group was held responsible for failed attacks in 2007 at Frankfurt international airport and on the US military at Ramstein air base. It took responsibility for a 2008 suicide attack in the Afghan province of Khost.

Filed under: Terrorism

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