A pair of Taliban suicide bombers killed 24 people and wounded scores more in an attack today on a senior security official’s home in the southern Pakistani city of Quetta.
The first suicide bomber rammed his car packed with explosives into a vehicle outside the home of the Deputy Inspector General of the Baluchistan Frontier Corps, which is located in a high-security zone in the city. The second suicide bomber entered the building and opened fire with an assault rifle. He later detonated his explosive-packed vest, leveling the office and damaging nearby buildings.
The attack killed 24 people, including the Frontier Corps commander’s wife. More than 80 were wounded.
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for today’s double suicide attack in Quetta.
“We carried out the attacks,” Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told AFP. “We will launch a bigger attack in future.”
Ihsan said the attacks were designed “to avenge the arrest of our mujahedin brothers by Pakistani security forces in Quetta recently,” referring to a senior al Qaeda leader and his two aides who have been arrested.
Two days ago, the Pakistani military announced it had arrested Younis al Mauritani, a senior member of al Qaeda’s external operations council, and his two aides, Abdul Ghaffar Al Shami and Messara Al Shami. The three al Qaeda operatives were arrested in a suburb of Quetta during a joint operation between the Baluchistan Frontier Corps and the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
The Pakistani Taliban, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and al Qaeda all have a presence in Quetta. The city is also a stronghold of the Afghan Taliban; its top council is known as the Quetta Shura.
Today’s suicide attack is the second in Quetta in eight days. On Aug. 31, a suicide bomber killed 11 people in a parking lot outside a Shia mosque. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which is closely allied to the Taliban and al Qaeda, is known to conduct suicide and other attacks on Shias.