Suicide bomber kills 11 outside Pakistani mosque

A suicide bomber killed 11 people in a parking lot outside a Shia mosque today in Quetta, the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. The attack is the latest to take place at a mosque in Pakistan.

The suicide bomber entered a parking lot adjacent to the mosque and attempted to hit the building as worshipers were leaving a service commemorating the end of Ramadan. The bomber detonated in the parking lot after he was unable to reach the mosque, killing 11 people, including two women and a child.

Police said the corpse of the suicide bomber was seen in the wreckage of the car.

“Remains of a badly mutilated body were found in the car. It appears that he was not wearing the explosives on his body but he had planted those in the car and detonated when he could not go beyond the parking lot,” Quetta police chief Ahsan Mehboob told AFP.

While no group has claimed credit for the attack, three terror organizations that operate in the area are the primary suspects. The al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is known to carry out suicide attacks against Shia. The Pakistani Jundallah, another group linked to al Qaeda, also conducts suicide attacks and operates in Quetta. And the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, which has carried out suicide attacks throughout Pakistan, also operates in Baluchistan.

Today’s suicide attack is the third in Asia to target Muslims as they celebrated the end of Ramadan this year. On Aug. 28, an al Qaeda in Iraq suicide bomber killed 28 people at a mosque in Baghdad. And yesterday, suicide bombers killed nine people as they celebrated the end of Ramadan in the Chechen capital of Grozny.

Taliban and allies target religious sites

Over the past four years, the Taliban and allied Pakistani terror groups have shown no reservations about striking inside mosques and other religious sites, as well as during religious processions and events. There have been 34 major attacks on mosques and other Islamic institutions in Pakistan since December 2007, according to information compiled by The Long War Journal.

One of the most brazen attacks took place on Dec. 4, 2009, when a suicide assault team stormed a mosque frequented by military officers in Rawalpindi. Two senior generals were among the 40 people killed.

Another major attack took place on July 1, 2010, when suicide bombers struck the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine in Lahore, killing 41 people and wounding more than 170. Three suicide bombers detonated their vests at the shrine at a time when it was most frequented, in an effort to maximize casualties.

The last major attack against religious targets took place on Aug. 19, when a suicide bomber killed more than 40 people and wounded more than 100 in an attack at a mosque in Pakistan’s tribal agency of Khyber.

Major attacks at mosques, religious events, and Islamic institutions in Pakistan since December 2007:

Aug. 31, 2011: A suicide bomber detonated in a parked car outside a Quetta mosque, killing 11 people.

Aug. 19, 2011: More than 40 people were killed in a suicide attack at a mosque in Jamrud in the Khyber tribal agency.

April 3, 2011: The Taliban killed 41 people in a double suicide attack on a Sufi shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan.

March 4, 2011: The Taliban killed nine people in a bombing at a mosque in Nowshera.

Jan. 25, 2011: Suicide attacks that targeted Shia religious processions in Lahore and Karachi killed 16 people. The Fedayeen-e-Islam, a subgroup of the Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed credit for the Lahore attack.

Nov. 5, 2010: A suicide attack outside a mosque in Darra Adam Khel killed 50 people.

Oct. 25, 2010: Five people were killed when an IED was detonated inside a shrine in Pakpattan.

Oct. 22, 2010: Five people were killed when an IED was detonated inside a mosque in Peshawar.

Oct. 7, 2010: Two suicide bombers killed eight people in a coordinated attack on the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Karachi.

Sept. 3, 2010: A suicide bomber attempted to storm a mosque in Mardan, but was stopped by security guards. One person was killed after he detonated his vest.

Sept. 1, 2010: Suicide bombers detonated during Shia religious processions in Lahore, killing 28 people.

Aug. 23, 2010: A suicide bomber detonated at a mosque in Wana, South Waziristan, killing 18 people.

July 1, 2010: Suicide bombers detonated at the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine in Lahore, killing 41 people and wounding more than 170.

May 28, 2010: The Punjabi Taliban assaulted two Ahamadi mosques in Lahore, killing more than 70 people.

Dec. 18, 2009: A suicide bomber detonated inside a mosque frequented by policemen in Lower Dir, killing 12.

Dec. 4, 2009: A suicide assault team stormed a mosque in Rawalpindi that is frequented by Army officers, killing 40.

Oct. 20, 2009: A pair of suicide bombers detonated their vests at Islamabad’s International Islamic University, killing five.

June 12, 2009: A suicide bomber killed five Pakistanis, including anti-Taliban cleric Dr. Sarfraz Naeemi, in an attack on a mosque in Lahore during Friday prayers.

June 12, 2009: A suicide bomber killed six worshipers and wounded more than 90 in an attack inside a mosque in Nowshera. The attack collapsed the dome of the mosque.

June 5, 2009: A suicide bomber killed 49 worshipers in an attack on a mosque in a remote village in Dir.

April 5, 2009: A suicide bomber killed 24 worshipers and wounded more than 100 in an attack outside a Shia religious center in the Chakwal district in Punjab province.

March 27, 2009: A Taliban suicide bomber killed more than 70 worshipers and wounded more than 125 in an attack at a mosque in the Khyber tribal agency.

March 5, 2009: An attacker threw a hand grenade into the middle of a mosque in Dera Ismail Khan, wounding 25 worshipers.

March 2, 2009: A suicide bomber killed six people during an attack at a gathering in a mosque in the Pishin district in Baluchistan.

Feb. 20, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 32 Pakistanis and wounded more than 85 in an attack on a funeral procession for a Shia elder who was murdered in Dera Ismail Khan.

Feb. 5, 2009: A suicide attack outside a mosque killed more than 30 Shia worshipers and wounded more than 50.

Nov. 22, 2008: A bombing at a mosque in Hangu killed five civilians and wounded seven.

Nov. 21, 2008: A suicide attack on a funeral procession in Dera Ismail Khan killed 10 mourners and wounded more than 25.

Sept. 10, 2008: The Taliban attacked a mosque filled with Ramadan worshipers in the district of Dir in northwestern Pakistan. More than 25 worshipers were killed and more than 50 were wounded.

Aug. 19, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 29 Shia mourners and wounded 35 after detonating in the emergency ward of a hospital.

June 17, 2008: Four Pakistanis were killed and three wounded in a bombing at a Shia mosque in Dera Ismail Khan.

May 19, 2008: Four Pakistanis were killed in a bombing outside a mosque in Bajaur.

Jan. 17, 2008: A suicide bomber killed 10 and wounded 25 in an attack on a Shia mosque in Peshawar.

Dec. 28, 2007: A suicide bomber detonated in the middle of a mosque in Charsadda in an attempt to kill former Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao as he conducted Eid prayers. More than 50 were killed and more than 200 were wounded.

Sources:

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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2 Comments

  • Stevied says:

    what happened to the religion of peace ? thank you bill for putting a time line on these tragic events. if only the pakistanis would stand up to the taliban. Bill, you’re doing a great job I appreciate you and the service you’re providing by being inbedded it in the army patrols

  • Spooky says:

    The Pakistanis DO stand up to the Taliban (through the Lashkar militias)…only for the Army to screw them over. The problem isn’t the people nor the religion, it’s the institutions that obsess over the (quickly disappearing) status quo.

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