A day after the U.S. and Pakistan “reset” their bilateral relationship, a Yemeni-origin al-Qaeda operative was arrested in Karachi and two NATO helicopters entered North Waziristan resulting in an exchange of fire. North Waziristan also witnessed two drone attacks and an abortive suicide bomb attack in Quetta involving suspected Chechen terrorists who were gunned down.
If the exchange of fire at the Admi Kot Post in North Waziristan between Pakistani troops and two NATO helicopters threatened to strain the fragile relationship, the announcement of the arrest of the al-Qaeda operative, Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub alias Abu Sohaib Al Makki, should provide Islamabad some breathing space at a time when its commitment to the war on terror is being questioned globally. The details of how Makki was arrested were not provided. According to officials, Makki was working directly under al-Qaeda leaders along the Afghanistan border. However, he is not among the U.S.' “most wanted” .
Earlier in the day, the Army lodged a strong protest with NATO and demanded a flag meeting over the violation of airspace. Two Pakistani soldiers were injured in the exchange of fire. This, coupled with Monday night's drone attacks in North Waziristan, came just hours after U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry sought to address Pakistan's concerns about unilateral action within the country by the Americans as part of their policy of “hot pursuit”. Pakistan, in turn, assured the U.S. it would act against terrorist sanctuaries in the tribal areas.
In Quetta a check post was attacked by five terrorists, including three women, who were strapped with bombs. According to the police, they were first stopped for checking near the airport but they sped away. They were accosted by the Frontier Constabulary at their check post.
The terrorists then threw hand grenades and fired at them. One of the women blew herself up and all the other terrorists were killed in the firing that ensued.
Based on their appearance and documents found on their bodies, security personnel said they were possibly Chechens.