The Taliban have targeted yet another security installation in one of Pakistan’s largest cities. A suicide bomber killed eight paramilitary policemen in an attack on a headquarters in the heart of Islamabad, the nation’s capital. Five other paramilitaries were wounded in the attack.
The bomber detonated his vest after entering the back of the Frontier Constabulary camp in the F-7/3 district in Islamabad. The camp is in a supposedly secured location, near a United Nations compound that houses the UN Human Rights Council and the Jinnah supermarket.
Security forces opened fired blindly after the attack, although no casualties were reported, according to Dawn. Police and military personnel have since been issued “shoot to kill” orders against any suspected attackers, Geo News reported. One suspect thought to be involved in the attack has been detained.
The attack in Islamabad was predicted by Pakistani intelligence. Just three days ago, intelligence services said 14 suicide bombers entered Islamabad and Lahore to conduct attacks.
The Taliban have stepped up the attacks against the Pakistani security forces. The Islamabad attack caps a bloody week of Taliban attacks against security personnel in Pakistan. A suicide attack earlier today killed 17 civilians in Miramshah, North Waziristan. The bomber targeted a Frontier Corps checkpoint in the city. Yesterday, a suicide attack that targeted a senior political leader in Charsadda was foiled.
On March 30, the Taliban conducted two deadly strikes. A Taliban assault team stormed a police training center in Lahore, killing more than 30 policemen and recruits. That same day, a suicide bomber rammed into a military convoy in Bannu, killing four security personnel. On March 27, more than 70 Pakistanis were killed in a Taliban suicide attack in a mosque in Khyber.
The Islamabad bombing is also the second suicide attack in Islamabad in two weeks. On March 23, a suicide bomber killed one policeman in an attack on a Special Branch.
Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud took credit for the attacks over the past two weeks. He said the attacks were in retaliation for Pakistan’s cooperation with the US Predator campaign in the tribal areas. He also said he would strike in the US to avenge the strikes. The US hit a Taliban safe house yet again today, this time in North Waziristan. Twelve people, including Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, were reported killed.
The Taliban are on pace to exceed last year’s record of 61 suicide attacks in Pakistan. There have been 20 suicide attacks in the first quarter of 2009. The Taliban have carried out three suicide attacks during the first four days of April, nine in March, five in February, and another three in January.