Suicide bomber kills eight at Pakistani airbase

Aftermath of the Sargodha suicide attack in Punjab province, Pakistani. Click to Enlarge.

The Pakistani military suffered its second suicide bombing outside the Northwest Frontier Province in three days. Two days after an al Qaeda suicide bomber killed eight in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, a suicide bomber drove his motorcycle into a bus at an air base in Sargodha in the province of Punjab. Eight were killed and 27 wounded in the strike. Four military officers and civilians were among those killed.

The bombing in Sargodha is the latest in a series of strikes targeting the military and civilians both inside and outside of the violent Northwest Frontier Province. The Taliban have used the Pakistani military assault on the radical Red Mosque, or Lal Masjid, in the heart of Islamabad in July as a rallying call for their jihad.

But the Taliban intensified their insurgency against the government long before the Lal Masjid attack. The Taliban and al Qaeda launched a suicide campaign in the winter and spring against targets in Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi ad a host of cities and towns throughout Pakistan.

In July, al Qaeda spokesman Abu Yahya al Libi called for the Pakistani people and the military to rise up against the Musharraf regime. Al Libi was later reinforced by both al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his second in command Ayman al Zawahiri.

The largest strike so far targeted former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Karachi on the day she returned from exile. The sophisticated, multi-pronged ambush included suicide bombers, roadside bombers, and snipers. Over 136 were killed and 500 plus wounded. The Taliban and al Qaeda also conducted suicide attacks against Prime Minister Aziz and Interior Minister Sherpao. The Taliban also attempted to shoot down President Musharraf’s airplane as he departed the airport in Rawalpindi.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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4 Comments

  • Marlin says:

    If I interpret the article correctly, the Associated Press is reporting that 60-70 terrorists were killed today during an attack in the Swat Valley. I must confess, it is hard to tell when a ceasefire is on and when it is off.
    —————————————————
    In Pakistan’s northwest district of Swat, the militants attacked law-enforcement posts before dawn Thursday, and security forces responded with fire from mortars, small arms and helicopter gunships. Some 2,500 security forces have been deployed to the area to pursue followers of Maulana Fazlullah, a cleric seeking to enforce Taliban-style rule.
    “According to the information I have from police and Frontier Constabulary, between 60 to 70 miscreants were killed in Swat’s areas of Khawaza Khela today,” army spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad said.
    Sirajuddin, a spokesman for Fazlullah who goes by one name, denied that, saying only one or two militants died. He claimed that 40 security forces had surrendered in fighting in Khawaza Khela.
    MyWay: Army: 60 Militants Killed in Pakistan

  • Jihad Central 11-01-2007

    All the Jihad news for Today, 11-01-07.
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  • Srirangan says:

    //news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7074591.stm
    This is not good. Pak Army is hardly resisting the Talib advance.

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