A suicide bomber killed 11 people and wounded 37 more in an attack on a headquarters of a Pakistani law enforcement agency in Lahore.
The suicide bomber rammed his car packed with more than 1,300 pounds of explosives into a Federal Investigation Agency building in Model Town in Lahore, Dawn reported. According to the New York Times, the suicide bomber crashed “into the main gate of a safe house used for interrogation by the Pakistani military.” A building housing the Special Interrogation Unit is also nearby.
The blast is said to have leveled the Federal Investigation Agency building. The Federal Investigation Agency building is thought to have had more than 70 people working there at the time of the attack. The casualties may mount as people are believed to be trapped in the rubble.
The Taliban have targeted the Federal Investigation Agency in Lahore in 2008 and 2009. An attack in March 2008 killed 28 people and is thought to have targeted US intelligence officials working with the FIA, which is analogous to the US’ FBI. An FIA building was one of three police centers targeted in a suicide assault in Lahore in October 2009.
In recent years, the Taliban have conducted numerous attacks against heavily secured military, police, and intelligence compounds in Pakistan’s major cities. The most brazen was the assault on the Pakistani Army General Headquarters complex in the garrison city of Rawalpindi in October 2009. During the fall of 2009, the Taliban also hit secured facilities in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Multan. In January 2010, a suicide bomber even targeted the Pakistani Army in the Tararrkhal region in Pakistan-held Kashmir.
The targeting of the FIA and the Special Interrogation Unit makes for an interesting objective, as Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency is believed to have six top Afghan Taliban commanders in custody. In February, Pakistani security forces detained five top leaders of the Quetta Shura, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the second in command of the Taliban and the director of the council; Maulvi Abdul Kabir, the leader of the Peshawar Regional Military Shura; Mullah Abdul Salam, the shadow governor of Kunduz; Mullah Mir Mohammed, the shadow governor of Baghlan province; Mohammed Younis, the former shadow governor of Zabul province; and Agha Jan Mohtasim, the former Finance Minister during the Taliban regime and the son-in-law of Mullah Mohammed Omar, during raids throughout the country.
Pakistani intelligence is said to be interrogating these six top Taliban leaders. US officials have complained that Pakistani intelligence has not provided access to the Taliban leaders for interrogations.