Suicide bomber kills 8 in northwestern Pakistan

A suicide bomber killed eight people in an attack at a bus station in northwestern Pakistan today. The attack is fourth by the Taliban in the region in the past week.

The suicide bomber detonated his vest at a bus station in the town of Jandol in the district of Lower Dir in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The target of the attack is not known.

Two senior commanders of the Movement of the Taliban Pakistan operate in the Dir region: Mullah Fazlullah, who commands forces in the Swat Valley, and Faqir Mohammed, the leader in Bajaur. Both commanders have gone underground since the Pakistani Army launched operations in Bajaur in 2008 and the Swat Valley in 2009. The Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed [TNSM or the Movement for the Enforcement of Mohammed’s Law], a radical Islamist group allied with the Taliban, also operates in Dir. The TNSM’s leader, Sufi Mohammed, is in Pakistani custody and may be tried for inciting violence in Swat.

Today’s suicide attack is the fourth in Pakistan’s northwest in the past week. On March 30, a suicide bomber killed 10 people in an attack on a political rally in the district of Swabi. The target of the attack was Fazlur Rehman, the leader of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl political party. Rehman was again targeted the next day in another suicide attack that killed 12 people in the district of Charsadda.

Yesterday, a pair of Taliban suicide bombers killed more than 40 people in an attack on a Sufi shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan, a district in Punjab province that borders Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal areas. as well as Baluchistan.

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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