Red agencies/ districts controlled by the Taliban; purple is de facto control; yellow is under threat.
The Taliban have struck in the settled district of Mardan in the Northwest Frontier Province. A suicide bomber struck in a bakery in the city of Mardan.
Thirteen Pakistanis were killed in the blast, including four policemen. Twenty-two Pakistanis were wounded and shops in the city were devastated. “The bakery was completely destroyed along with many other area shops in the blast,” GEO News reported.
The suicide attack in Mardan is the first mass-casualty suicide attack since early March. A dual suicide attack in the city of Lahore killed 28 and wounded over 200 on March 11. The headquarters of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency was one of the targets in the Lahore bombings.
The Taliban has conducted numerous suicide bombings since the federal and provincial elections in late February. A suicide bomber killed three and wounded 10 Pakistanis in Bannu on May 6. A suicide bomber killed five Pakistani troops when he detonated outside a paramilitary base near Wana, South Waziristan on March 20. A suicide bomber dressed as a police recruit killed two policemen and wounded five in Swat on March 18.
On March 4, seven Pakistanis were killed and 21 were wounded in a dual suicide attack at the Naval War College in Lahore. An attack at a tribal meeting in the settled district of Kohat in the Northwest Frontier Province on March 2 resulted in more than 40 killed and 40 wounded. The tribal leaders were discussing how to curb Taliban attacks in Kohat and the neighboring Orakzai tribal agency.
A suicide bomber attacked a vehicle of the Bajaur Levies on March 1. Two paramilitary soldiers were killed and 24 were wounded. A suicide bomber struck at a policeman’s funeral in the settled district of Lakki Marwat on Feb. 29. More than 40 Pakistanis were killed and scores more were wounded, many of them critically.
On Feb. 25, a suicide bomber killed the Pakistani Army’s surgeon general in the military garrison city of Rawalpindi. Seven others were killed in the attack and 20 were wounded after a Taliban suicide bomber rammed into Lieutenant General Mushtaq Ahmed Baig’s staff car. Mushtaq is the senior-most general killed in Pakistan since Sept. 11, 2001.
Despite the slew of suicide bombings and other conventional attacks directed at government institutions, the military and police, tribal leaders, and rival political parties, the government continues to press negotiations with the Taliban.
A “peace deal” was cut with the outlawed Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e- Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM – the Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad’s Sharia Law) in the Malakand Division, which consists of the districts of Swat, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Buner, and Chitral at the end of April. The government is close to inking a deal with Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban who has been behind the suicide bombing campaign in Pakistan.
For details on the proposed peace agreement in South Waziristan, see Pakistan is negotiating a new peace agreement with Baitullah Mehsud.
See The Fall of Northwestern Pakistan: An Online History for more information on the rise of al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan and the peace agreements signed between the government and the Taliban.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.