Unnamed “militants” attacked a local headquarters for the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate as well as a police station in the town of Sukkur in Pakistan’s southeastern province of Sindh today. The attack on the ISID headquarters involved a complex suicide assault, with three “militants” entering the headquarters and briefly taking control before being killed in a shootout. Dawn has an excellent writeup of the attack and the results, which is excerpted below:
A series of blasts rocked the southern town of Sukkur late Wednesday as militants rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a compound of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, security officials said.
Seven people were killed and 38 injured in the brazen attack on the local headquarters of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), said DG Rangers Major-General Rizwan Akhtar.
The dead included five attackers, in what was an unprecedented attack in the otherwise peaceful town.
“A total of seven people were killed and several injured,” said Major General Rizwan Akhtar, head of the paramilitary force, Sindh Rangers.
Police said the attackers detonated two bombs — one outside a police building and a car bomb outside the ISI office in the town, located around 500 kilometres from Karachi, the main city of Sindh province.
A police official said apparently a suicide bomber first blew himself up in front of a police building and then a second suicide bomber detonated the explosive-filled car outside the ISI office.
The terrorists had seized control of one government building, sparking a shoot-out between the militants and security forces in the high-security Barrage Colony area.
While no group has claimed credit for the attack, it was likely executed by the Taliban, or by the Lashkar-e Jhangvi, the Harakat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami/Brigade 313, al Qaeda, or some combination of all of these groups. Jihadist groups haven’t been all that active in Sindh, but they have attacked NATO supply columns traveling though the province that are destined for Afghanistan. In 2008, a Taliban spokesman had threatened to set the provinces of Sindh and Punjab “on fire” if military operations in Swat and the tribal agency of Bajaur were not halted.
As the Dawn article notes, ISID and Pakistani military headquarters have been the target of jihadist suicide attacks and assaults in the past. The most brazen took place in October 2009, when the Taliban stormed the Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
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