Taliban take credit for assassination attempt on Pakistan’s prime minister


Two bullets impacted the driver’s side window of Prime Minister Gilani’s car on Sept. 3. Photo from PTV.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani dodged an assassination attempt after his motorcade came under gunfire earlier today. The Taliban have taken credit for the attack.

The attack occurred as the prime minister and his entourage was traveling on the Islamabad Highway. Gilani was returning to Islamabad from the city of Lahore when “multiple sniper shots” were fired at the convoy.

Two bullets struck the driver’s side window but failed to penetrate the bulletproof glass. Gilani was not wounded in the attack. Police detained three suspects shortly after the ambush, and the government has ordered an investigation into the assassination attempt.

The Pakistani Taliban took credit for the attack on Gilani’s motorcade. Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said the attack was in response to the military operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province. The Taliban have said they are targeting senior Pakistani military and governmental leaders, including Gilani; the Pakistan People’s Party’s candidate for president, Asif Zardari; Rehman Malik, the adviser to the ministry of interior; and General Kiyani, the chief of staff for the Pakistani Army.

“We will continue such attacks on government officials and installations,” Muslim Khan said. Khan is a spokesman for Swat Taliban commander Mullah Fazlullah.

Today’s attack is the 10th 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 170 Pakistanis and wounding more than 250, according to numbers compiled by The Long War Journal. The Taliban also attempted to kill the senior US diplomat in Peshawar on Aug. 26.

Despite the Taliban’s stepped up campaign, the government declared a cease-fire for the month of Ramadan. The military stopped offensive operations in the tribal areas and the settled districts of the Northwest Frontier Province, despite a deadly Taliban insurgency that has struck at the military and government in the heart of the country.

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

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.



  • don juice says:

    thank god it failed but now i suggest they get revenge in swat by killing Mullah Fazlullah.

  • KaneKaizer says:

    Wonder if this is enough to warrant that retaliation they (Pakistani Military) promised?

  • Alex says:

    Musharraf has seriously survived more assassination attempts than any politician that I can think of. I guess it’s in the job description for Pakistani PM.

  • Alex says:

    To clarify, yes, I know Musharraf isn’t in office anymore. I hope the new guy has loyal bodyguards.

  • Neo says:

    When Benazer Bhutto was assassinated much of the populous blamed the Musharraf government. That is spite of repeated attempts at Musharraf’s own life. At the time most Pakistani’s would blame political rivals and the government rather than the Taliban.
    This time around the Taliban leaves no doubt who is responsible. They also make it plan that they are trying to bring down an elected government and have little use for anyone that would stand in their way. Like it or not the Pakistani populous is in this fight.

  • Agent Moulder says:

    Neo – I wont be so sure about Paki being on the same side as us when it comes to fighting Islamic radicals …some of them sure are …but lets not paint all of them with the same brush

  • Neo says:

    I’m quite sure the Pakistani’s aren’t on the same side as the US regarding the Islamists, or have much appreciation of our war against the terrorists. Remember that shortly after 9/11 around 70 percent of Pakistani’s believed that the US had brought the attacks upon itself. Now, that is not the same thing as outright being our enemy, but that is a harsh and openly malicious attitude toward our welfare.
    My point is a little different though. In spite of the fact that the Pakistani’s don’t care for the US position on this, they are being brought into conflict with the Taliban. The Taliban is not asking the Pakistani people for an opinion on the matter. The Taliban is asking for direct compliance with their political agenda and Pakistan to directly join them in their jihad against the West. Anything short of that, and the Taliban will engineer the downfall of the Pakistani government.
    The Taliban’s complete lack of restraint and indiscriminate violence, even make it difficult for the Islamic parties to lend them open support. That is what I mean when I say “like it or not” the Pakistani populous is in this fight.
    My brief comment didn’t make a clear distinction.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram