Suicide bombers attack police in Peshawar, kill 14

A pair of Taliban suicide bombers attacked a police station and an office for a Pakistani intelligence service in the provincial capital of Peshawar today. Fourteen people, including three policemen, have been reported killed in the latest Taliban strike.

The suicide strike team consisted of a man driving a car packed with explosives and a female suicide bomber riding on the back of a motorcycle. The attack began in an area near a police checkpoint, the offices of the Pakistani Central Intelligence Agency, and a mosque.

The woman was killed by police as she attempted to enter a barracks for military officers, while the man driving the car detonated his explosives during a gunfight. The explosion leveled the police station and the nearby mosque. A local hospital said 14 people, including three policemen, were killed and 15 more were wounded.

The attack in Peshawar is the latest in a seemingly endless wave of Taliban strikes nationwide that began in the beginning of October [see list below].

Yesterday the Taliban launched three military assaults on police stations in the eastern city of Lahore. Twenty-six people, including nine terrorists and 12 policemen, were killed. The Taliban also conducted a suicide attack on a police station in Kohat which killed 11, and carried out a car bombing in Peshawar that killed one child.

On Oct. 10, a Punjabi Taliban group called the Amjad Farooqi Group carried out a commando-styled assault on the Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. The terrorists took 42 security personnel captive. Thirteen soldiers were killed, including a brigadier general and a lieutenant colonel, along with nine members of the assault team; and 39 hostages were freed. The attack shut down the headquarters for nearly a day.

Suicide bombers have also struck in Islamabad, Shangla, and again in Peshawar since Oct. 5, when Hakeemullah Mehsud, the new leader of the Taliban, vowed to reignite a terror campaign to avenge the death of his predecessor and to punish the government and military for offensive operations in the tribal areas and the Swat Valley.

The attacks have killed 156 Pakistani civilians and security officials and wounded hundreds more.

The government and military have promised to launch a major offensive in South Waziristan, the headquarters of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. The military’s response so far has been to blockade the area and conduct air and artillery strikes against Taliban hideouts. The military claimed that more than 60 Taliban fighters and civilians have been killed in the attacks in South Waziristan over the past four days.

Major attacks in Pakistan since Oct. 5:

Oct. 16, 2009:

A pair of suicide bombers, including a female, attacked a police station and a building housing an intelligence service in Peshawar, killing 11.

Oct. 15, 2009:

Terrorist assault teams attacked the Federal Investigation Agency building, the Manawan police training centre, and the Elite Force Headquarters in Lahore. Twenty-six people, including nine terrorists and 12 policemen, were killed.

Oct. 15, 2009:

A suicide bomber rammed a car into a police station in Kohat, killing 11 people, including policemen and children.

Oct. 12, 2009:

A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives as a military convoy passed through a checkpoint in a market in Alpuri in Shangla. Forty-one people, including six security personnel, were killed in the attack.

Oct. 10, 2009:

An assault team attacked the Army General Headquarters and took 42 security personnel captive. Eleven soldiers were killed, including a brigadier general and a lieutenant colonel, along with nine members of the assault team; and 39 hostages were freed.

Oct. 9, 2009:

A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives in a bazaar in Peshawar, killing 49 civilians.

Oct. 5, 2009:

A suicide bomber entered the World Food Program office in Islamabad and detonated his vest, killing five UN workers, including an Iraqi.

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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