Lashkar-e-Jhangvi launches suicide assault at hospital in Quetta

The al Qaeda and Taliban-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed credit for a suicide assault on female Pakistani university students in the southwestern provincial capital of Quetta. A female suicide bomber carried out one of the attacks; at least 25 people were killed in the bombing on a bus and the blast and assault at a hospital.

The first attack took place after a group of female students boarded a women’s university bus. Pakistani officials told Dawn that a female suicide bomber mingled with the group and the detonated her vest, killing 14 students in the blast.

The second attack took place at the hospital where the wounded survivors of the first attack were taken. A male suicide bomber detonated his vest, then a group of fighters ambushed Pakistani security forces as they arrived on the scene. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi fighters took hostages during the attack. Pakistani troops later stormed the hospital and freed the hostages.

The paired attacks killed at least 25 people, including female students, hospital workers, and the deputy commissioner of Quetta.

The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, one of numerous Islamist terror groups that operate in Pakistan, claimed credit for the assault, according to Dawn. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed credit for numerous terror attacks in Pakistan, and has released videos of executions of captured Shia prisoners.

The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed credit for suicide attacks in Quetta in the past; in February the group took credit for the murder of more than 90 Pakistanis, mostly minority Shia, after detonating nearly one ton of “high-grade” explosives in the provincial capital.

Today’s suicide attack on a bus is the second such bombing by a female in Pakistan this year. On April 21, a female suicide bomber, likely from the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, killed four people in a blast outside a hospital in Bajaur.

The Taliban, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have used female suicide bombers at least six other times in Pakistan since December 2010. The IMU claimed credit for the November 2012 suicide attack in Mohmand.

Jihadists in Pakistan and Afghanistan have established camps that are used to indoctrinate and train female bombers. Qari Zia Rahman, the dual-hatted Taliban and al Qaeda leader who operates in Pakistan’s tribal agencies of Mohmand and Bajaur as well as in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan, is known to run the suicide training camps [see LWJ report, Al Qaeda, Taliban create female suicide cells in Pakistan and Afghanistan].

Across the border in Afghanistan, the Taliban have used female suicide bombers in at least three other attacks since June 2010. Additionally, the Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), a Taliban and al Qaeda-allied group, has claimed credit for the September 2011 female suicide attack in Kabul.

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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  • Gerald says:

    And they freak out when America accidentally kills a civilian while aiming at the same people that can blow up innocent students without batting an eyelash!

  • Nic says:

    The counter terrorism mantra states that atrocities such as the ones described in this article should cause the general population to revolt against the terrorists. There have been no reports of a popular revolt against the terrorists. @Bill: Could you please write an article about why the Pakistanis aren’t forming mobs and lynching the group responsible for this attack. People usually get a little angry when their children are killed or is Pakistan different?

  • blert says:

    It’s left unsaid, but one might surmise that all of the primary targets were Shi’ites.
    If so, one might conclude that this is ideologically wrapped up with the Syrian Regional Civil War.

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    Looks like the LEJ are heading towards the TTP in terms of attacking the Pakistani state. I can’t recall the LEJ ever attacking the Pakistani state (i.e. army or police). This looks like a new direction from them.

  • allcj says:

    No problems here in Pakistan. Just us Pure muslims killing purer muslims.

  • Mr T says:

    Killing unarmed innocent women and hospital workers. Nice. The cowards that did this must be mighty proud of themselves. Nice group of losers you have there Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. What’s next? Some old men and babies?

  • mike merlo says:

    Another frightening example of Terrorist Tactics utilizing any & all available modes of “Delivery Systems” & then some. How long before these “guys” start using available ‘technologies’ from Radio Shacks & Hobby Stores to start employing/deploying airborne IEDS? How long before ‘we’ start experiencing the Ultra-Lite aircraft suicide bomber?

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    They kill more and more of their own, they do not discriminate, its a cycle of death who knows where it will stop. Pakistan is suffering from its unholy alliance with radicals they cannot control. These groups have the will do to the unthinkable.

  • gitsum says:

    What bunch cowarldly idiots this proved sooo much, al qaeda is a defeatist group of cowardly has-beens clinging to deperate motives.

  • Arjuna says:

    This complex assault targeted the bus w a female, the hospital w a male and then shooters got the police chief and occupied the hospital. Ouch! The outrage is yet another example of what you might refer to as the “radicalization” of the Pakistani groups, in other words them moving closer and closer to the targets, tactics and techniques of AQ itself. I disagree with you Blert, respectfully; I think these women were targeted bc of their education and status as future doctors, in the same barbaric fashion and for similar reasons that the polio workers are being killed, with Shiite status being a distant second. Either way, time to add another group to the “hardcore threat to the Pakistani state” category with all of the ominous consequences that designation implies.

  • Arjuna says:

    Mike, not long at all. The AQI cell recently found with the sarin labs and “programs” from an AQ affiliate outside Iraq (Yemen?) had model choppers w 2.5 lb payload capacity ostensibly for use to disperse that agent over Shia pilgrimage processions. Thus rc/model aircraft are already in their TRADOC, so expect to see (hopefully failed) attempts to use them in the future. They are just not well suited for heavy payloads, so they probably won’t try to use conventional munitions but sarin or anthrax.

  • Arjuna says:

    This example of martyr money is the KP funeral attack but it goes to Gerald’s point. The bodies are still warm and the head money figures are announced. From the Daily Times:
    “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced cash compensation for those killed and injured in the deadly suicide blast. Heirs of those killed in the blast would be given Rs 300,000 and the injured will get Rs100,000. ”
    These amounts are like hitting the lottery in those parts. Why so quick? No wonder the cries of anguish are muted!

  • Bob says:

    If you haven’t yet, take a moment to realize how lucky you are to be born in a different society than what we see in Pakistan on a weekly basis.

  • blert says:

    This particular set of fanatics has been on a rampage against Shi’ites — and explicitly so.
    If there is ONE consistency in such crazed minds it is to not kill the women of co-religionists — at least not intentionally.
    If these health professionals in training were destined to be nurses (and doctors) for live births — of Shi’ites — then their deaths represents genocidal fury.
    I posit that Sunni fanatics afar from Syria — unable to wage jihad against Assad — are taking their rage out against the nearby Shia.
    At this stage, it’s only a presumption, since such specifics are commonly not included in media reports.
    It’s not politically correct to put the finger of blame on Islam — or the schisms within it — even in Pakistan.

  • mike merlo says:

    I remember ‘reading’ the same ‘thing’ also or some thing similar. I can easily ‘envision’ these ‘guys’ using these ‘delivery systems’ in ‘swarms,’ or anybody for that matter, to compensate for size of payload.
    I wouldn’t categorize these types of ambushes as “complex” as opposed to gutsy or reckless.

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    Talking about Baluchistan, there is a video of two Czech women kidnapped in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, where they are forced to make an islamic terrorist video. The video is on YouTube below:


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram