Suicide bombers kill 24 Pakistanis in Quetta

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.

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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  • villiger says:

    The battle is moving centre-stage to Pakistan. Slowly but surely.
    While i commiserate with the families who lost members in this atrocious attack, including the Brig who lost his wife, Pakistan must understand that it is not immune to the terror it has helped create and continues to support.
    The status quo is unacceptable. The battle is trending to consume Pakistan. 2011 has been pretty bad; 2012 will be far worse.
    Pakistan needs to stop believing it is caught between a rock and a hard place. It IS a hard place. Understand that reality, and then go from there.

  • Zarin says:

    It means that Quetta is the center of terrorists. There is coalition government in Baluchistan and the party and individual supporters of these terrorists are part of this coalition. Pakistan forces are not in position to clean the city and it need international attention.

  • Mr T says:

    I still ownder if those 3 terrorists were caught by accident. It is a known fact that Pakistan shelters Al Qaeda. FACT. If you are sheltering them , why would you arrest 3 including one of the top leaders? I think they periodically do raid based on intel the US gives them so they “look” like they are cooperating. They get low level guys that they put on house arrest and later release.
    I think this was one of those raids but they ended up going to a place where the top leader was by accident. They did this beofre with Mullah Omars top guy Baradar? Where is he at now? Released I’ll bet. Mauritani will be the same. Did we get immediate access to him or did the Pakistanis delay our interrogation? That will tell you the real story.
    Now that they made a mistake, the terrorists are letting them know the consequences of mistakes. The bee hive is angry. This guy must have been doing something big because the terrorists are angry about his capture. They thought they had safe shelter promised to them and feel betrayed.
    Why would Pakistan do this? Thats why I think they did not expect Mauritani to be there.
    Plus, it doesn’t seem like we rounded up a bunch of Al Qaeda operatives from the treasure trove of intel gathered in the OBL raid. That stuff is old now but I didn’t really read about a lot of extra damage done to the organization from followup. Perhaps there was some and perhaps this is part of that but it seems we didn’t get much after OBL.

  • David says:

    This attack seems to answer the question as to whether or not the arrest was one of the “protective custody” style arrests that have been all too common in the past. Obviously the Taliban have serious doubts as to whether or not their compatriot will ever be released.

  • Bing says:

    Mr T,
    “It is a known fact that Pakistan shelters Al Qaeda. FACT. ”
    U.S. intel seems to disagree with this notion, so I wouldn’t call it fact. Pakistan shelters various factions of Taliban and other assorted jihadi groups (some maybe AQ lite, but not core AQ), but I would think AQ’s agenda is very much against the Pakistani regime and consider them apostates.


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