Terrorists have carried out their fourth major suicide attack in Pakistan’s northwest in four days. A Taliban suicide bomber killed 23 people in an attack today at a crowded bazaar in the city of Peshawar.
The suicide bomber conducted the attack to maximize casualties. The bomber detonated in the midst of a protest by the Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist political party that advocates the imposition of sharia, or Islamic law, and has supported the Taliban in the past. His vest was “packed with six to eight kilogrammes (13 to 17 pounds) of explosives and pellets and ball-bearings,” AFP reported.
Three police officers, including a deputy superintendent, and a district leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami were among those killed in the attack, according to Geo News.
The suicide attack was preceded by another bombing today at a school in Peshawar that killed a young boy and wounded 15 others.
Today’s suicide attack in Peshawar is the latest in a flurry of bombings after a period of relative quiet in Pakistan. The Taliban have carried out three other suicide attacks in Kohat and Quetta since April 16.
The first suicide attack took place on April 16, when a bomber struck as senior police officials, politicians, and reporters gathered at the hospital after a prominent Shia banker was shot and killed. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, an al Qaeda and Taliban-linked terror group, took credit for the attack, which killed 10 people.
The second strike occurred on April 17, when two suicide bombers detonated minutes apart at a camp for refugees fleeing the Army offensive in Arakzai. The two bombers killed 42 Pakistanis at the camp in Kohat. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi again took credit for the attack.
The third suicide attack targeted a police station in Kohat. Seven civilians, including an infant, were killed in the blast. The Taliban took credit for the attack.
All four of these recent suicide attacks have taken place outside of Pakistan’s tribal areas, where the Taliban control North Waziristan and other regions. The military has stepped up operations in the tribal areas of South Waziristan, Khyber, Arakzai, and Bajaur, but the Taliban still maintain a foothold in these areas.