15 policemen killed in Swat suicide attack

A Taliban suicide bomber killed 15 policemen during an attack on the Special Police Training Center in Swat in Pakistan’s northwest.

The suicide bomber detonated in the middle of a group of police cadets as they were training at the parade grounds of the Special Police Training Center in Mingora, the main city in Swat. The bomber was able to easily penetrate security at the training center, according to the Geo News reporter at the scene of the attack.

Today’s suicide attack is the second major strike by the Taliban in four days. Both suicide attacks targeted Pakistani security forces. On Aug. 27, a suicide bomber entered a barracks at the Torkham border crossing in Khyber and detonated his vest, killing 22 border guards as they gathered for a meal to break fast for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The Taliban took credit for the attack and said it was conducted to avenge Baitullah Mehsud’s death at the hands of the US.

Today’s bombing also took place just one day after the Pakistani military claimed it took out the camp in Swat that was responsible for three other smaller-scale suicide attacks in Swat over the past several weeks. Pakistani attack helicopters and strike aircraft targeted a Taliban training camp near Mingora. The military claimed 12 Taliban fighters, including six teenage suicide bombers, were killed in the attack.

The Taliban are attempting to reassert control in Swat after security forces launched an operation to retake the region in early May. The military claims more than 2,000 Taliban fighters have been killed and thousands more captured; but Taliban strength in Swat is estimated at between 5,000 to 7,000 fighters. The Taliban claimed they conducted a tactical retreat and melted back into the population, and will emerge during the winter.

Taliban have been targeting security forces for years

The Taliban have conducted scores of significant attacks against the police, the Army, the Frontier Corps, and other Pakistani security and intelligence services since July 2007 when the Musharraf government launched the operation to clear out the radical Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in the heart of the capital of Islamabad. There also have been hundreds of smaller attacks in Pakistan that occur on a daily basis.

These attacks include suicide strikes and military assaults against checkpoints, training centers, forts, and bases; ambushes against convoys; beheadings and executions of captured security personnel; and targeted assassinations against military leaders. No region of Pakistan has been spared. These attacks have taken place in Pakistan’s major cities, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi, as well as in the rural areas and Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas.

List of significant attacks on Pakistani security forces since July 2007:

July 9, 2009: The Taliban killed five security personnel in Jaccobabab in Sindh province and wounded six more in Bannu.

July 3, 2009: Forty-one Pakistani troops were killed after the Taliban shot down a helicopter in Arakzai.

June 28, 2009: Eighteen Taliban fighters and 10 soldiers were killed during a Taliban ambush in North Waziristan; the Taliban also killed two soldiers in South Waziristan.

June 26, 2009: Three soldiers and a civilian were killed in an IED attack in North Waziristan.

June 23, 2009: . The Taliban killed three policemen in Peshawar and a paramilitary policeman in Khyber.

June 22, 2009: A suicide bomber killed two policemen in Shangla.

June 12, 2009: The Taliban killed four policemen in an IED attack in Hangu and another in Kohat.

June 9, 2009: The Taliban wounded 11 troops in Mohmand and eight policemen in Dera Ismail Khan.

June 6, 2009: A suicide bomber killed two policemen in an attack on a police headquarters in Islamabad.

June 5, 2009: Five soldiers were killed in IED attacks in South Waziristan.

June 4: The Taliban killed six policemen and a paramilitary trooper in Mardan.

June 1, 2009: The Taliban kidnapped more than 300 cadets and teachers in North Waziristan

May 31, 2009: More than 25 Taliban fighters and seven soldiers were killed during fighting in South Waziristan.

May 27, 2009: A terrorist assault team killed 16 policemen and seven intelligence officials in a complex suicide and conventional attack in Lahore.

May 25, 2009: The Taliban killed three policemen in Kohat and three more in Haripur.

May 20, 2009: A suicide truck bomber attacked a fort in Tank and killed nine Pakistanis, including five policemen.

May 14, 2009: Three soldiers and five Taliban fighters were killed in an IED attack and ambush in North Waziristan.

May 10, 2009: The Taliban destroyed a headquarters of the Dir Levies and killed one Malakand Levies officer and captured three others.

May 5, 2009: Fiftenn Taliban fighters and 2 troops were killed, and six soldiers were captured after the Taliban attacked an outpost in Mohmand.

May 4, 2009: The Taliban killed five security officials in a suicide attack in Khyber and one policeman in a shooting in Hangu.

Apr. 28, 2009: The Taliban captured 60 security personnel in Buner and five more in Swat.

Apr. 20, 2009: The Taliban kidnapped six Frontier Constabulary personnel in Swat.

Apr. 18, 2009: A suicide bomber killed 25 policemen and two civilians an in attack on military convoy in Hangu.

April 18, 2008: A suicide bomber killed ten policeman and six civilians after ramming into a checkpoint in Charsadda

April 15, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 18 security personnel after ramming into a checkpoint in as a convoy passed in Kohat.

April 4, 2008: A suicide bomber killed eight paramilitary policemen in an attack on a headquarters in the heart of Islamabad.

April 4, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 17 civilians in Miramshah, North Waziristan while targeting a Frontier Corps checkpoint in the city.

March 30, 2009: A terror assault team, likely from Lashkar-e-Taiba, stormed a police academy in Lahore; more than 30 recruits and officers were killed. Four security personnel were killed in a suicide attack in Bannu.

March 29, 2009: A large Taliban force captured 12 policemen after surrounding their outpost in Khyber.

March 9, 2009: Taliban forces killed or captured 17 members of the Khasadar Force, a lightly armed paramilitary police unit, along with three government officials.

March 7, 2009: A car bomb at a checkpoint in Peshawar killed seven policemen and one civilian.

Feb. 7, 2009: An estimated 600 Taliban fighters crossed the border from Afghanistan and joined forces with Taliban fighters in the Mohmand tribal agency to attack a military outpost. Ten soldiers were killed.

Jan. 11, 2009: Thirty Pakistanis were killed after a suicide truck bomber detonated at a checkpoint outside Peshawar.

Jan. 6, 2008: The Taliban killed four policemen during an attack on a checkpoint in Hangu.

Dec. 3, 2008: Three security personnel and two civilians were killed in a suicide attack in Charsadda.

Nov. 17, 2008: Three soldiers and seven civilians were killed by a Taliban suicide attack in Swat.

Nov. 2, 2008: Eight paramilitary troops were killed in a suicide attack in South Waziristan.

Oct. 31, 2008: Four police and five civilians were killed in a suicide attack at a police station in Mardan.

Oct. 29, 2008: Five security officials were killed and 11 were wounded in a suicide attack in Bannu.

Oct. 26, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 11 security personnel in Mohmand.

Oct. 15, 2008: Four policemen were killed and 16 wounded in a suicide attack in a police station in Swat.

Sept. 22, 2008: Nine soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing in Swat.

Sept. 20, 2008: Ten soldiers were killed and 12 were wounded in a suicide attack on a convoy in North Waziristan

Sept. 6, 2008: Thirty Pakistanis were killed and more than 90 were wounded after a suicide truck bomber detonated at a checkpoint outside of Peshawar.

Sept. 3, 2008: The Taliban kidnapped 32 police recruits in Khyber and six security officials in Landi Kotal.

Aug. 30, 2008: The military thwarted a triple suicide bomb attack on a military camp near the Kohat Tunnel; five were killed and 37 wounded.

Aug. 27, 2008: The Pakistani military repelled a Taliban assault on the Tiarza Fort and the Tiarza Bridge Checkpost in South Waziristan. No military casualties were reported.

Aug: 21, 2008: Two Taliban suicide bombers killed 70 Pakistanis and wounded more than 1,000 in attacks outside a munitions factory in the Wah Cantt. The location is part of a complex known to house nuclear weapons components.

Aug. 13, 2008: A suicide bomber targeted a police van in Lahore during Pakistan’s Independence Day celebration. Nine Pakistanis, including five policemen, were killed and more than 35 were wounded.

Aug. 12, 2008: A bombing on a Pakistani Air Force bus in Peshawar resulted in 13 Pakistanis killed, including 10 security officials, and more than a dozen were wounded

July 29, 2008: A large Taliban force kidnapped 25 Pakistani policemen and members of the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary after overrunning a checkpoint in the settled district of Swat.

July 15, 2008: A large Taliban force overran a Frontier Constabulary fort; killed 15 constables; looted weapons, explosives, and ammunition; and then destroyed the outpost.

July 6, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 19 Pakistanis, including 15 policemen, and wounded 40 more in an attack outside a police station in Islamabad near the Red Mosque.

March 4, 2008: A suicide bomber struck at the Pakistani Navy War College in the city of Lahore. Seven were killed and 21 were wounded.

Feb. 25, 2008: A suicide bomber killed Lieutenant General Mushtaq Ahmed Baig, the Surgeon General of Army Medical Corps, and seven others in an attack on his convoy in Rawalpindi.

Feb. 4, 2008: A suicide bomber on a motorcycle rammed into a bus carrying military personnel in Rawalpindi; 10 Pakistanis were killed.

Jan. 27, 2008: The Taliban captured more than 50 paramilitary troops from the Frontier Corps during an attack on the Kohat Tunnel. Several of the paramilitaries were later executed.

Jan. 17, 2008: The Taliban took control of the Saklatoi fort; about 40 paramilitary soldiers fled the post without a fight.

Jan. 16, 2008: The Taliban overran a fort manned by the Frontier Corps in the town of Sararogha; more than 20 troops were captured.

Jan. 10, 2008: A suicide bomber targeted police stationed outside the Lahore High Court in the provincial capital of Punjab. Twenty-two policemen and civilians were killed and 70 more were wounded.

Dec. 10, 2007: Seven military personnel were wounded in a suicide attack at a Pakistani Air Force base in Kamra. Ten Pakistanis, including two policemen, were killed in a suicide attack on a police checkpoint in Swat.

Nov. 23, 2007: Two suicide bombers targeted the military and intelligence agencies in the capital of Islamabad and the military city of Rawalpindi. One attack was outside the Army headquarters and the other outside the Inter-Service Intelligence agency’s Hamza Camp. More than 15 people were killed and scores more were wounded.

Nov. 1, 2007: Eight Pakistani military personnel and civilians were killed and 27 wounded after a suicide bomber drove his motorcycle into a bus at an air base in Sargodha in the province of Punjab.

Oct. 30, 2007: A suicide bomber detonated his vest outside the Pakistani army headquarters in Rawalpindi. Seven were killed, including two police officers, and another 14 were wounded.

Oct. 25, 2007: A suicide bomber struck a convoy of Frontier Constabulary police forces and killed more than 30 paramilitary troops and wounded 17 more.

Sept. 4, 2007: In Swat, one suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Inter Services Intelligence personnel and another suicide bomber targeted the Royal Artillery bazaar. More than 25 Pakistani military personnel and civilians were killed and 68 were wounded.

Aug. 31, 2007: A Taliban force captured a company of Pakistani Army troops in South Waziristan.

July 19, 2007 : A suicide bomber killed eight and wounded 26 in an attack on the Police Training College in the Northwest Frontier Province district of Hangu.

July 18, 2007: Seventeen soldiers were killed in an ambush on a convoy in North Waziristan.

July 15, 2007: Twelve Pakistani soldiers and four civilians were killed and more than 40 were wounded after two suicide car bombers rammed into a military convoy in Swat. In Dera Ismail Khan, more than 20 police recruits were killed and 50 wounded after a suicide bomber attacked near the main hall of the police recruitment center.

July 14, 2007: A Taliban suicide bomber killed 24 troops in an attack on a convoy heading to Miramshah, North Waziristan.

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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2 Comments

  • ArneFufkin says:

    In my opinion, the legacy of the Bush Administration’s operations in Iraq will be to have turned violent Salafism against Muslims. It was the only way that pathological dysfunction could ever have a prospect of being obliterated. Now, if they wish to kill Westerners, they need to do it against the finest warriors from America, Canada, UK etc. Muslims of peace and good heart (the vast, vast majority) need to cure this disease within their ranks. In Iraq, by and large, they have. Afghanistan, and especially Pakistan, haven’t hit the tipping point yet. They will. It’s a hard business. As Bill Roggio understands – a long war.

  • Minnor says:

    Police stations need to be guarded by high positioned guards, the security guards should be positioned at height as much as first floor. This will make it easy to monitor whats going on, and easy to shoot the intruder as well.

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