Suicide bomber kills commander of Pakistan’s Frontier Constabulary

A suicide bomber has killed the commander of Pakistan’s Frontier Constabulary and four policemen in an attack near a market in Peshawar today. The Taliban carried out the attack despite their claim to have suspended activities due to the flood that has affected millions of Pakistanis.

Siffwat Ghayur, the Commandant Frontier Constabulary, and four of his bodyguards, were killed after a suicide bomber targeted the commander’s car as he left his headquarters in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (formerly the Northwest Frontier Province). The suicide bomber drove a taxi packed with explosives into Ghayur’s vehicle.

Nine civilians and three other policemen were also wounded, some seriously, Geo News reported.

The Frontier Constabulary, a paramilitary police force that operates in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas, serves on the front lines in the fight against the Taliban. Commandant Ghayur is the most senior security official killed by the Taliban this year.

The Taliban carried out today’s attack while Pakistan’s security forces are focused on providing humanitarian assistance to the millions of Pakistanis trapped in the floods that have crippled large areas, including much of the northwest. The floods have given the Taliban a reprieve from military offensives in Arakzai, and have also given them the opportunity to infiltrate various areas while the military is preoccupied.

Today’s suicide bombing was executed by the Taliban despite their claim that they had suspended operations in the flood-hit areas. “We are announcing temporary suspension of Mujahidden activities in the flood-hit area to give another opportunity to the people to seek forgiveness,” Taliban spokesman Mohammed Omar said in a statement, according to The Frontier Post. “We are immediately suspending operations but if the army or the government considered it as our weaknesses and commit any mistake, then the army, the government and the people will face dire consequences.”

Over the past several weeks, the Taliban appear to have shifted tactics and have begun to execute more focused attacks aimed at killing top provincial and security leaders in the northwest. The last attack targeted the outspoken, anti-Taliban information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while he was attending the funeral for his son, who was assassinated by the Taliban just days earlier. Previously, the Taliban have carried out mainly high-profile, mass-casualty suicide attacks and terror assaults on government and security installations.

The Taliban are conducting a low-intensity campaign of targeted assassinations, kidnappings, and intimidation in Pakistan’s northwest after being dislodged from power in Swat and the eastern region of South Waziristan during military operations over the past year. Hundreds of tribal leaders and politicians who back the government have been killed in the tribal areas and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Pakistani military claims that thousands of Taliban fighters have been killed, but US military and intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that Pakistan has exaggerated its successes against the Taliban.

The core of the Taliban’s leadership remains in place, and key commanders whom the Pakistani military claimed to have killed during operations have re-emerged to prove they are indeed alive. Most recently, Mullah Fazlullah, the Taliban’s leader in Swat, was seen on a videotape in which he urged Pakistanis to wage jihad and threatened those who cooperate with the government.

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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4 Comments

  • omar says:

    crossposting from SWJ: Re the assassination of Sifwat Ghayoor, Commandant FC: my note is at
    //www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/note.php?note_id=449204198766&id=675724953&ref=mf
    The problem remains the divided loyalties of the security establishment. And I am not talking about “divided between loyalty to the USA and loyalty to Pakistan”. Of course, they should be loyal to Pakistan. I am referring to the division between those who support a pan-islamic anti-Indian agenda (which automatically necessitates saving the “good taliban” and the “good jihadis” for future use and containing or even killing off secular forces) and those liberals/pragmatists/rationalists who understand that the jihadi project may destroy Pakistan before it destroys India and conquers the world.

  • ramsis says:

    Omar:
    In my opinion the use of (“good Jihadis and good Taliban”),as a weapon of war will ultimately lead to the destruction of any state that sponsors them for any reason. Simply by nature secular forces and religous radicals are simply viewing each other as useful idiots who will be dealt with sometime in the future but are tolerated in the meantime. one might say they feel they have bigger fish to fry (India). Unfortunatley the future for either will probly never come. If war between pakistan and India ever does break out the scope of the destruction on both sides will not lead to a victory for either much less Islam itself. The Jihadi extremeist sympathisers in the isi are taking the pakistani people down the road to ruin and using religious supremecy as its motivator. Much like the crusaders of mideveil times learned god would prefer his name be kept out of mans petty land disputes.

  • T Ruth says:

    ” Of course, they should be loyal to Pakistan.”
    Pakistan is now an illegitimate state.
    “those liberals/pragmatists/rationalists who understand that the jihadi project may destroy Pakistan”
    A. It is not a question of ‘may’. ‘Will’ is more appropriate, a matter of time. Of course for some of us, who see it more clearly, it is already destroyed as a State. Just depends on what your view on the quality of human life is.
    B. Who are these ‘ liberals/pragmatists/rationalists’?
    Where are they and where can one find them? Where have they been the last 63 yrs? Can you please name me one? What ‘book’ do they follow that liberates them, and makes them so ‘pragmatic and rational’?
    Enough spouting. Its time for action. Are you pragmatic and rational enough to be liberated?

  • Spooky says:

    Illegit in the eyes of everyone but Pakistanis, so his original point stands. Certainly they’re more loyal to the nation the grew up in rather than the nation that, in their view, started the whole practice of
    I’m no fan of Pakistan, but I’m not going to fault its citizens for being patriotic to their country. Only that they make stupid decisions while doing so.

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