Suicide assault team defeated in Quetta

Pakistani security forces killed five would-be suicide bombers at a checkpoint outside the southwestern city of Quetta earlier today. Three of the suicide bombers were women, and all of those killed appeared to be “foreigners.”

The five terrorists were killed while driving near a Frontier Corps checkpoint in the Kharootabad area just outside of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. The target of the suicide bomber’s attack is unclear.

“The militants armed with guns and bombs were travelling in a car, police intercepted them but they tried to flee, triggering an exchange of fire. All five attackers have been killed,” Quetta’s chief of police told Dawn.

Several of the terrorists lobbed hand grenades at the security checkpoint, and one of the suicide bombers is reported to have detonated his vest. Pakistani officials believe the attackers were “Uzbek or Chechens.”

“From the appearance of the attackers, it looks they were either Uzbek or Chechens,” a senior security official said, according to SAMAA. “They had hand grenades and bombs strapped to their bodies.”

The terror groups most often associated with Uzbeks and Chechens are the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and its splinter group, the Islamic Jihad Group. The term “Chechen” is often used to describe jihadists from Russia’s Caucasus region, or Russian-speaking terrorists. Both groups are based in Pakistan’s tribal areas, specifically in North and South Waziristan.

Quetta is a bastion for the Afghan Taliban and numerous Pakistani terror groups, including the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The Afghan Taliban’s leadership council, which is known as the Quetta Shura, is based in the provincial capital. Mullah Omar and other top Taliban commanders are known to shelter in Quetta, with the aid and support of Pakistan’s military and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

Today’s failed attack is the third major attempt by terrorists in Pakistan since al Qaeda emir Osama bin Laden was killed by US SEALs and CIA operatives at his safe house in Abbottabad. On May 13, more than 80 Frontier Corps and civilians were killed in a suicide attack at a Frontier Corps training center in Charsadda in the northwest. And on May 16, Taliban gunmen killed a Saudi diplomat in an attack in Karachi. The Taliban claimed credit for both attacks.

Elsewhere in Pakistan, the Pakistani Army claimed it captured a senior al Qaeda “commander” known as Muhammad Ali Qasim Yaqub during a raid in Quetta.

Yaqub, who is also known as Abu Sohaib al Makki, is a Yemeni citizen. The Pakistani Army claimed he has been “working directly under al Qaeda leaders along Pak-Afghan borders [sic],” according to the Inter-Service Public Relations press release. Yaqub is a relative unknown; his name has not been mentioned until his capture today.

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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  • How is it suddenly there are socalled “foreign fighters’ being discovered in Pakistan by Pak army?

  • sports says:

    Sounds like mayhem…did this really happen or is this a story fabricated by the Pakis?

  • Neo says:

    A lot of crazy stuff is going to happen in Pakistan in the short term. In the wake of the operation to kill Bin Laden, the Taliban and complicit members of the ISI have to assume that their arrangements have been compromised. There will be a lot of moving assets around and using assets before they lose them.
    There is nothing new about the Pakistani

  • Victor says:

    I do not know whether it is true or not, but it seems the people killed were unarmed, with no guns, or suicide vests.

    Could this be another attempt to create the right headlines when Sen. Kerry was in town? Or is it a reflection of the state of their society where a foreigner approaching a check point is assumed to be a suicide bomber?
    “A senior police officer who had searched the bodies also said not even a knife had been found.

  • Victor says:

    It took some time for me to connect the dots but now it is clear.
    Zardari was in Russia recently to ask for Russian engines to power the 50 odd JF17 aircraft they are getting for free from the Chinese. They also want Russian avionics for those planes.
    The Chechens were sacrificed to establish the Pakistani credentials in the fight against Chechen terrorists. Given the dubious nature of the encounter and the victims (pregnant women), it is very likely these were low-level Chechen operatives who were sacrificed to please the Russians.
    They used to catch the Al-Queda number three every time a major US delegation was visiting Pakistan. Now expect to see more news about the Chechen #3 and the Xianxing #3 being killed as Pakistan tries to please all major powers.


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