‘Militants’ attack Pakistani ISID headquarters in Sindh

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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.

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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  • Bill S. says:

    Before the attack on the ISID office I was baffled by events in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Now I’m totally confused.
    It seems that the good guys wear white hats and the bad guys wear black hats. The only problem is that they spend all their time trading their hats back and forth.
    All the Taliban (or whoever it is, or whatever branch of the Taliban or Al Queda it is) is to keep this up, and even the Pakistanis will finally get convinced that the Taliban/Al Queda is a menace to their country. Then one might see seom serious cooperation between the Afghans and the Pakistanis to end this menace.

  • mike merlo says:

    Interesting. This city, Sukur, ‘sits’ right on a major ‘crossroad’ between Quetta, Karachi & SouthCentral ‘Punjabi.’ ‘It’ appears that this ISI Station may have also served as a Processing Center of sorts.
    That you would ‘bring up’ the 313 Brigade reminds me of the serpentine ‘surfacing’ of The Asian Tigers & their soon after ‘Fade Away.’
    During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan KHAD proved to be a very effective organization conducting a host of activities(surveillance, infiltration, sabotage, assassination etc.,.) on Pakistan soil. Afghanistan’s NDS & India’s RAW have both demonstrated marked levels of sophistication in gathering intelligence, interdiction & targeted ‘activities.’
    Mullah Omar has made repeated references to infiltrating Afghanistan’s Police & Military Forces. Some of have met with publicized success. I would ‘hazard’ a guess that Afghanistan’s NDS & India’s RAW have ‘indulged’ themselves in the same ‘activities.’
    It should be noted that Afghan NDS Chief Amrullah Saleh confronted Musharraf with information on bin Laden in 2007. Indicating that bin Laden was ‘spotted’ in or around the vicinity of Mansehra, Pakistan.

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    I find it amusing that the ISI who all these years trained islamic terrorists fighting against the governments of Afghanistan and India, are now receiving bites from these same islamic terrorists they supported. As everyone knows, “you reap what you sow”.

  • Nic says:

    One of the definitions of ‘a good day’ should be a day in which the ISI takes a beating.


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