The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan claimed credit for today’s attack on a police facility in the eastern city of Lahore that killed eight policemen and wounded nine more, as well as an earlier attack in Gurjat that killed six soldiers and a policemen.
Today’s attack in Lahore was carried out by five Taliban fighters, Ihsanullah Ishan, the top spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, told The Long War Journal in an email. The Taliban assault team stormed a police building where policemen from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were conducting training, according to Dawn. The Taliban fighters opened fire on the policemen as they slept, and escaped using motorcycles.
The Taliban spokesman said the policemen were targeted because they were from northwestern Pakistan and were involved in the “torturing” of Taliban fighters.
“We the mujahideen of TTP [Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or Movement of the Taliban] claim responsibility of attack on police [personnel] in Lahore in early morning today, targeted policemen belonged to Prison Police of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10 of them were killed while scores injured severely,” Ihsan said.
“Five of our mujahideen took part in this successful operation and came back to their places safe and sound,” Ihsan continued. “Those policemen were targeted because of their role in torturing our fellows in the prisons of KPK [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa] ….”
Ihsan threatened further attacks and claimed credit for a similar attack on a military camp in Gurjat, near Lahore, on July 9 that killed six soldiers and a policeman. The security personnel were encamped while searching for the body of a downed helicopter pilot. The Gurjat attack took place close to the site of a rally held by the Defense of Pakistan Council, an alliance of jihadists and political parties, to protest the reopening of NATO’s supply lines to Afghanistan.
“We warn police & other tyrant security forces to stop inhumane & cruel behaviour with our fellow prisoners or be ready for more severe attacks in Whole Pakistan which we have already planned & are executing as well as this attack is also a part of chain of attacks started from Gujrat attacks & will be carried on more,” Ihsan concluded.
The Taliban and allied terror groups (often referred to as the Punjabi Taliban) have largely refrained from carrying out attacks in Punjab over the past year, after launching a series of suicide assaults against police, military, and intelligence agencies in the eastern province in previous years.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.