Suicide bomber kills anti-Taliban leader, 12 others near Peshawar

A suicide bomber killed 13 people, including an anti-Taliban leader, in an attack at a market outside of Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar.

The Taliban suicide bomber detonated his vest at a market in the town of Matni. Pakistanis were shopping to prepare for the festival of Eid al Adha. That attack also wounded 36 others, nine of whom are reported to be in critical condition.

The attack appears to be a targeted assassination. Among those killed in the blast was Abdul Malik, the mayor of Adizai. Malik had raised a tribal lashkar, or militia, that stood up against the Taliban.

“Malik had survived several attacks on his life in the recent past, since he turned against the militants,” a senior official in Peshawar told Geo News. “But today the militants have finally killed him.”

Local Pakistani tribal leaders have raised lashkars to oppose the spread of the Taliban throughout the northwest. The Taliban have countered by ruthlessly attacking tribal meetings and killing senior leaders.

Today’s suicide attack is the latest strike in the Taliban’s terror offensive, which began on Oct. 5. The Taliban have launched suicide attacks and terror assaults in Pakistan’s major cities and throughout the northwest.

The Taliban and allied jihadi groups have launched military assaults against the Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and police centers in Lahore. Suicide bombers have struck in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Kohat, Swat, and Shangla.

The military is currently on the offensive against Hakeemullah Mehsud’s faction of the Taliban in South Waziristan. The military claimed 32 Taliban fighters have been killed over the past two days, and that more than 500 Taliban fighters and only 40 soldiers have been killed since the operation was launched on Oct. 17.

The Taliban maintain they have conducted a “tactical retreat” and will wage a guerrilla campaign over the next several months. No senior Taliban leaders or military commanders have been killed or captured during the offensive.

Major attacks in Pakistan since Oct. 5:

Nov. 8, 2009: A suicide bomber killed an anti-Taliban leader and 12 others in an attack at a market in the town of Matni near Peshawar.

Nov. 2, 2009: A Taliban suicide bomber killed 34 Pakistanis and wounded scores more in an attack in Rawalpindi.

Nov. 2, 2009: A pair of suicide bombers killed one policeman and wounded 25 security officers and civilians after the pair detonated their vests at a security checkpoint.

Oct. 28, 2009: A Taliban suicide bomber killed 119 Pakistanis and wounded hundreds more in an attack on a bazaar in Peshawar.

Oct. 27, 2009: A brigadier general who served as the director of defense services guards at the Army General Headquarters escaped an assassination attempt in Islamabad.

Oct. 23, 2009: The Taliban detonated an anti-tank mine and hit a bus transporting a wedding party in Mohmand. The explosion killed 15 of the passengers and wounded six more.

Oct. 23, 2009: The Taliban detonated a car bomb outside a popular restaurant in the residential Hayatabad area in Peshawar. The attack wounded 13 civilians; nine are said to be in critical condition.

Oct. 23, 2009: A Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people during an attack at a security checkpoint near the Kamra Air Weapon Complex in the district of Attock in Punjab province.

Oct. 21, 2009: The Taliban assassinated a brigadier general and his driver during an ambush in Islamabad.

Oct. 20, 2009: A pair of suicide bombers detonated their vests at Islamabad’s International Islamic University, killing five.

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. The attack killed 41 people, including six security personnel.

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.



  • Anonymous says:

    Correction needed:
    Paragraph 2:
    “…festival of Eid, which marks the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan”
    Eid-al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) September 20, 2009
    Eid-Al-Adha: November 27, 2009

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Thanks, Anonymous. Correction noted & made. Always appreciated.

  • Michael says:

    Don’t Taliban do realize that resorting to fear,
    attacking general population and senior tribal leaders, are suicidal in guerilla warfare?
    Guerillas without public support is like
    fish out of the water.
    Good news for the US troops,
    I believe as in Afghanistan
    as long as US holds it in there with patience,
    and earn the support of the general population
    one by one, while Taliban is busy killing and
    threatening people.
    Many don’t realize McChrystal is on the right track,
    and US, may actually be starting to be winning this war.

  • J. Smith says:

    The locals generally blame the U.S. and other outside forces for such attacks. The Taliban win either way.

  • Spooky says:

    You can win the war in Afghanistan, but if the war is lost in Pakistan, then the war is lost in the region, simply because Pakistan has both a coastline and nukes. If it wasn’t for either of those, Pakistan would have reached its inevitable dissolution many years ago.
    I fear that with the eminent “victory” in Waziristan, the Pakistan Army will prematurely believe its troubles to be over. When they continue, the morale of the troops is likely to take a hit. Never a good thing when they’re the only ones holding the country together.

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/09/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.


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