1 The Long War Journal: Suicide bomber targets police in Pakistan's northwest
Written by Bill Roggio on February 27, 2010 7:35 PM to 1 The Long War Journal
Available online at: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2010/02/suicide_bomber_targe_6.php
A Taliban suicide bomber attacked a police station in Pakistan's northwest, the latest strike against the police in the insurgency-infested province.
The suicide car bomber detonated outside the gate of the main police station in the district of Karak in the Northwest Frontier Province, where the government is battling the Taliban for control of the region.
The blast leveled the police station and a neighboring mosque, killing three policemen and a civilian, Dawn reported. Twenty-one policemen and five civilians were also wounded in the attack.
Karak borders the Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan, as well as the Taliban insurgency-hit districts of Hangu, Bannu, and Kohat. Since 2005, the Taliban spillover from North and South Waziristan has affected these settled districts. In 2007, a secret Pakistani government report described these districts as being out of the government's control.
The military has launched several operations to dislodge the Taliban in Bannu and Hangu since 2008, but has failed; the Taliban responded by killing any tribal leaders who cooperated with the government. The western regions in Bannu have served as the seat of al Qaeda's Shura Majlis and the home to the bank of the Caliphate. Kohat remains a Taliban hot spot; in the past the Taliban have shut down the Indus Highway, the main artery that connects Peshawar to the southern districts.
The suicide attack in Karak is the second in the past week that has targeted the police in relatively quiet areas in Pakistan's northwest. On Feb. 20, two suicide teams struck at police stations in Mansehra further north, killing a police chief.
The police, who are on the front lines against the Taliban in the tribal areas and settled districts of the northwest, have become a favorite target of the Taliban. On Feb. 11, the Taliban killed 15 people, including 12 policemen, in an attack on a police patrol in Bannu; the local police chief was seriously wounded. On Feb. 10, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 11 policemen and eight civilians in Khyber.