Suicide bombers kill 42 in Pakistan’s northwest

A pair of suicide bombers have killed 42 Pakistanis in the settled district of Kohat in Pakistan’s insurgency-infested northwest.

The suicide bombers detonated just minutes apart at the Kacha Pukha, which was set up to care for Internally Displaced People who have fled the Pakistani military offensive against the Taliban in the Arakzai tribal agency. The bombers waded into the crowd wearing burkas and detonated their suicide vests just minutes apart, Dawn reported.

The suicide bombers targeted members of the Mani Khel and Baramad Khel tribes, which have formed lashkars, or tribal militias, to oppose the Taliban.

“The two tribes raised a lashkar to fight Taliban in Arakzai,” the local police chief told Geo News.

The Taliban have singled out tribes in the northwest that have sided with the government and have viciously attacked them in an effort to sideline them.

A group calling itself the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al Alami took credit for the attack. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Alami is a branch of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an anti-Shia terror group that has integrated with al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has an extensive network in Pakistan and serves as the muscle for terror attacks. The group has conducted numerous suicide and other terror attacks in the tribal areas, the Northwest Frontier Province (which was officially renamed Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa this week), and in Punjab province.

Lashkar-i-Jhangvi has a strong presence in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Agencies, particularly in South Waziristan and Arakzai. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi formed alliances with Taliban commanders Baitullah and Hakeemullah Mehsud as well as with Jaish-e-Mohammed and al Qaeda. Elements of these groups formed the Fedayeen-e-Islam. The Fedayeen-e-Islam took credit for the deadly September 2008 suicide attack on the Islamabad Marriott Hotel and the March 2009 storming of a police station in Lahore.

Senior leaders of the Fedayeen-e-Islam include Qari Hussain Mehsud, a senior deputy to Baitullah who trains child suicide bombers; Asmatullah Moaviya; and Rana Afzal. Qari Mohammed Zafar, the operational commander of the September 2008 attack on the Islamabad Marriott; was killed in a US Predator strike in North Waziristan on Feb. 24, 2010.

Today’s suicide attack is the second in Pakistan in two days, and both today’s and yesterday’s attacks were claimed by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. Yesterday a suicide bomber killed 10 people at a hospital in Quetta. The suicide bomber struck as senior police officials, politicians, and reporters gathered at the hospital after a prominent Shia banker was shot and killed. The Lashkar-i-Jhangvi took credit for the attack.

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.



  • T Ruth says:

    Bill, you say

    The Taliban have singled out tribes in the northwest that have sided with the government and have viciously attacked them in an effort to sideline them.”
    The question is, is the Govt siding with them? Are these tribes simply anti-Taliban and therefore siding with the govt by default, or are they actually pro-govt.
    It would be great if one could really understand what these anti-talib tribal people feel. If anyone can point to any reports that provide some insight in depth, it’ll be appreciated.

  • gfgwgc says:

    I read the 70-page report issued by the United Nations on its inquiry of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. The UN panel’s investigation was limited in scope by its limited mandate. Nevertheless, it was an inquiry supported by the Pakistani government and consisted of an impartial panel. The report provided an fascinating insight into the inner workings of the Pakistani state and, quite frankly, sent a chill up my spine. If the events surrounding and following the assassination are any indication, then the faces of Pakistan (Zardari and Gilani) that we are dealing with are not the ones that run the country. I urge interested members of LWJ to read it.

  • T Ruth says:

    But of course, we know, that Paqistan is run by TEAM–The Establishment and Associated Machinators (read Military and it tentacles and appendages).
    Paqistan is not a Nation as we understand it–it is a Machination.
    As, i’ve said before, there are only 2 ways to look at Paqistan:
    One is that that everything about it is shocking; the other is that nothing about it is shocking.
    Nothing about this report is shocking to me. If tomorrow it emerges that Kayani was invloved or that the head of the ISI was involved, my state would remain unmoved, unshocked.
    Poring over the report, you see the pathetic state of their society–a cocktail of machinators, cunning officials in their military or police uniforms, common crooks and murderers. One is fortunate to see it from a distance–rats running around in sewers.
    This country cannot be helped, except at great cost. It should be shut out to the rest of the world and left to stew.
    It is not worth fighting against, and its certainly not worth fighting for.

  • Zeissa says:

    Thank you gfgwgc and T Ruth, that is very informative and helpful!


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram