Peshawar, Sept 24 : Highly placed sources in Pakistan have said that "foreign" Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters were 'infiltrating' into Bajaur from Afghanistan to join their colleagues in the crucial battle for survival in the face of an all-out military action, because it was beyond the local commandants' capacity to face the Army action.
The foreign Taliban and Al Qaeda included Arabs, Chechens, Uzbeks and Afghans, who were being led by an Afghan commander Qari Ziaur Rehman.
Pakistan Army's Major Murad Khan confirmed presence of foreign Taliban and Qaeda fighters, saying: "We have received information about militants crossing into Bajaur from across the border and they are mostly foreigners."
"Foreign militants are leading the fight against the Army. The army action is beyond the local combatants' capacity and they need hardened and well-trained foreign militants," the Daily Times quoted the unidentified sources as saying.
"Rehman is leading the fight and he is calling for reinforcement from across the Afghan border. He is leading the whole show. He carries a lot of clout among foreign militants who mostly engage the Americans inside Afghanistan," said the sources.
The sources also revealed that a network of tunnels was discovered in Tankkhata, Rashakai, Kerala and Loyesam, where the Taliban hold great sway. "They would fire at the forces from some house and then use the tunnel to escape the army's return fire. These foreigners were interested in renting houses by the roadside, and paid Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 in rent per month. The purpose of renting houses along the roadside was to attack the forces if they launched action against the militants," added the sources.