Taliban take credit for Rawalpindi mosque assault


Pakistani soldiers stand guard outside the Rawalpindi mosque after the Taliban suicide assault. AFP photo.

The Taliban didn’t blame today’s terror assault on Blackwater, but instead took credit. Here is the rationale, via Daily Times:

Claiming responsibility for Friday’s attack, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said the Parade Lane mosque was similar to Masjid-e-Zarrar built in Madina by the munafiqeen, and was “demolished on the orders of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)”.

Talking to BBC, TTP chief Waliur Rehman Mehsud said his men attacked senior army officers. “Our militants attacked the military officers (our primary target) and we will continue to attack the army,” he said, adding that the civilians killed in the attack were relatives of army personnel and their deaths “did not matter”.

For years the Taliban have been targeting Army, police, and other security forces personnel and their families in an effort to intimidate them. Today’s attack was one of the most devastating in some time in that regard; among the dead were a major general, a brigadier, two lieutenant colonels, two majors, three soldiers, and the sons and fathers of 17 senior officers. Here is the list (S/O = son of, F/O = father of), from Geo News:

Names of those who embraced shahadat [martydom] are: Major General Umer Bilal, Brigadier Abdul Rauf, Lieutenant Colonel Fakhar, Lieutenant Colonel Manzoor Saeed, Major Zahid, Major (Retd) Shoaib, Naik Masood, Sepoy Abdul Qayyum, Sepoy Sarwar, Child Bilal Riaz S/O Major General Nasim Riaz, Child Ali Hassan S/O Colonel Shabbir, Child Hassan S/O Colonel Shukhran, Child Sadaul Hassan S/O Lieutenant Colonel Fakhar, Child Zamin S/O Engineer Akmal Hussain, Child Qaisar Khan S/O Syed Akbar, Child Adil Rauf S/O Abdul Raud, Child Muhammad Khan S/O Sultan Bakhsh, Child Fazal Khan S/O Madad Khan, Child Hashim, name not known S/O Brigadier (R) Sadiq, name not known S/O Brigadier Mumtaz, name not known S/O Colonel Qaiser, name not known S/O Colonel Kaleem Zubair, name not known S/O Lieutenant Colonel Shoaib, name not known S/O Major Saleem, name not known S/O Major Ahsan, Deputy Director NLC Taskeen, father of Major General Awais Mustafa, F/O Colonel Kaleem Zubair, F/O Lieutenant Colonel Farooq Awan, Civilian Kahlid Javed, Civilian Ghulam Mujtaba, Civilian Javed S/O Ghani Khan, Civilian Muhammad Fiaz, Civilian Asad and Civilian Name not known.

AKI reported that “the only son of the northwestern city of Peshawar’s corps commander Lt. General Masood Aslam” was also killed in the attack. Aslam is directing the South Waziristan operation.

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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