Suicide bombing kills 30 in Pakistan’s northwest

The Taliban conducted another major attack inside Pakistan. Thirty Pakistanis were killed after a suicide truck bomber detonated at a checkpoint outside of Peshawar. The attack is the latest in a series of Taliban strikes inside Pakistan.

The attack occurred on the Indus highway at the Zangli checkpoint near Peshawar. The driver of the “double-cabin” truck rammed into the checkpoint after police ordered him to pull over for a search and detonated his bomb.

The massive blast killed 30 Pakistanis, including five policemen, and wounded more than 91, some seriously. The checkpoint was destroyed, as was a building that housed a nearby market. The bomb contained about 330 pounds of explosives, police told The Associated Press, and left a crater more than three feet deep.

Police believe the bomb was destined for a location inside Peshawar, but the police at the checkpoint foiled a more spectacular attack.

Today’s attack is the 11th major strike in Pakistan since Aug. 12. Taliban bombers have struck in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Wah, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, and Bannu, killing more than 200 Pakistanis and wounding more than 341, according to numbers compiled by The Long War Journal. These numbers do not include casualties sustained during clashes between the military and the Taliban. The Taliban also attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Gilani and the senior US diplomat in Peshawar.

The Taliban have clearly stated they would continue attacks against military and government installations until military operations are ended in Swat and the tribal areas.

The military and the government have fought intense battles along the Indus Highway the past several weeks. The strategic road connects Peshawar with the southern tribal agencies and districts of the Northewest Frontier Province, as well as the port city of Karachi. On Aug. 29, the military thwarted a potentially deadly triple suicide bomb attack on an outpost near the Kohat Tunnel. Five were killed and more than were 30 wounded in the attack.

The Pakistani military and the Taliban have fought intense battles in Orakzai and neighboring Kohat this yearin an effort to maintain control of the strategic tunnel. Pitched battles were fought in the city of Darra Adam Khel and at the Kohat Tunnel in January and March.

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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