Bombing in Peshawar market kills 9

Nine Pakistanis were killed in a car bombing today at a market in Peshawar in the latest Taliban attack in the provincial capital.

The car bomb, which was detonated remotely, was parked near a police station when it detonated. The massive blast killed nine, including three children and a woman, and wounded more than 20. Twenty shops were damaged or destroyed.

The car bombing in Peshawar is the second Taliban attack in the area in 24 hours. Yesterday the Taliban bombed two girls’ schools in Mattani, a suburb of Peshawar.

Over the past month, the Taliban have stepped up attacks in and around Peshawar, the provincial capital of the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa [see LWJ report, Pakistani Taliban step up attacks in northwest]. The Taliban have deployed suicide bombers and car and truck bombs against the Pakistani security forces, civilians, and infrastructure.

Two days ago, a suicide bomber killed five Pakistanis, including three policemen, in an attack on a police van in the capital. On Jan. 29, the Taliban attempted to destroy the Kohat tunnel in two truck bomb attacks. The tunnel links Peshawar with the southern half of the province.

The Taliban have continued to strike in Peshawar and in Pakistan’s major cities despite military operations in the tribal agencies of South Waziristan, Bajaur, Mohmand, Arakzai, Kurram, and Khyber, as well as in the Swat Valley. The military has claimed multiple times that it has cleared the region of the Taliban, but refuses to move against the Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied jihadist groups based in North Waziristan.

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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