A Taliban suicide bomber killed 10 people in an attack today at a hospital in Pakistan’s insurgency-infested northwest.
The suicide bomber detonated his car packed with explosives at a hospital in the district of Hangu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The target of the attack was Shia residents who ran the hospital and a nearby prayer house. A spokesman for the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi named Abu Mansour claimed his group executed the suicide bombing. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which serves as street muscle for al Qaeda in Pakistan, and the Taliban have stepped up suicide attacks against government officials, anti-Taliban tribes, and Shia Muslims over the past week. The district of Hangu has a sizable Shia population.
The Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have carried out three other suicide attacks since Dec. 6. On Dec. 8, a Taliban suicide bomber struck a bus carrying Shia refugees attempting to return to their homes in the tribal agency of Arakzai. The attack killed 18 civilians.
On Dec. 7, a suicide bomber attacked the chief minister of the southwestern province of Baluchistan, wounding 10 people. The al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed credit for the attack.
On Dec. 6, a pair of Taliban suicide bombers killed 50 people, including government officials, tribal leaders, security personnel, and two journalists, in an attack on a meeting of anti-Taliban tribal leaders in Mohmand. Omar Khalid, the leader of the Taliban in Mohmand, claimed the attack and said such strikes would continue as long as tribal leaders work with the government.
Over the past year, Taliban suicide bombers have also attacked numerous police, intelligence, and military installations, as well as religious institutions in Pakistan. The Taliban have demanded that the Pakistani military end operations in the northwest and halt its support for US Predator strikes against al Qaeda and other terror groups sheltering in the tribal areas.
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