Pakistan was today rattled by a deadly wave of terror attacks by suspected Taliban militants who stormed three security facilities in Lahore and carried out a suicide bombing at a police station in Kohat and an explosion in the NWFP capital Peshawar, leaving at least 40 people dead.
Police said 18 people — 13 security personnel and five civilians — were killed in coordinated attacks on provincial headquarters of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and two police training facilities in Punjab’s capital Lahore by three groups of terrorists between 9.15 am and 9.40 am local time, the fifth terror strike in the country within 11 days.
Ten of the attackers were also gunned down by security forces or blew themselves up. One terrorist was captured alive from the FIA office.
Lahore descended into chaos Thursday as one team of gunmen attacked the Federal Investigation Agency and took hostages before the attack was over, and two other groups struck police and commando training centers.
At the same time, an unidentified missile hit a Taliban compound in North Waziristan. At least four people were killed.
After the Oct. 10 siege of army HQ, which left 23 dead, Taliban warned that harsher acts were coming unless Pakistan called off its military operations against its strongholds and stopped working with the US.
Analysis. The Taliban has taken the opportunity to preempt the coming Pakistani Army assault on them in South Waziristan. By conducting homicide bombing and conventional attacks against these facilities, especially threatening the Pakistani nuclear facilities, they are attempting to force the Pakistani Army to disperse the some 60,000 soldiers who have been deployed for this offensive.
The Taliban realize that an attack of this magnitude will destroy them as much as is possible.
The Pakistani Army is highly professional. A large number of its officers are trained at the British military academy at Sandhurst. They attend British and American intermediate and senior service schools. They also realize that if Pakistan is to become a modern country, the fundamentalists must have their influence reduced to a negligible level.
At the same time the Taliban are aware that a serious threat to the Pakistani nuclear facilities will get India’s attention as well as Pakistan’s attention.
There is no way that India would allow the nuclear facilities to fall into Taliban hands.
Ditto for the US. By threatening these facilities, they are attempting to get international pressure applied to call off the offensive and protect the nuclear facilities. Yet the solution to the problem is to conduct the offensive and force the Taliban to die protecting their strongholds.
Source: World Threats