Unprecedented number of suicide hits in Pakistan in the first quarter of 2010


LAHORE: An additional number of 216 Pakistanis have so far been killed in 15 incidents of suicide bombings across Pakistan in the first 70 days of the year 2010, compared with the first 70 days of 2009 during which 11 such assaults were carried out.

According to available facts and figures, Pakistan has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of suicide attacks and subsequent killings during the first six weeks of the year 2010, which killed 321 people and injured over 500 in 15 suicide bombings that took place across Pakistan in the first 70 days of 2010 (between January 1 and March 12), showing 216 more deaths compared with the first 70 days of 2009 (between January 1 and March 12) during which 105 people were killed. Therefore, the daily average killing rate for the first 70 days of 2010 comes to four and a half people while the weekly killing rate stands at 10 people.
According to the data compiled by Punjab home department, 145 people were killed in five incidents of suicide bombings in January 2010, another 101 people lost their lives in seven such attacks in February while 75 people have so far been killed in the first 12 days of 2010.

At least 55 people lost their lives in the latest suicide attacks in the Cantonment area of Lahore on January 12, killing 45 people, including at least half a dozen army jawans. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan led by Commander Hakeemullah Mehsud claimed responsibility for the twin suicide attacks, saying more such attacks were in the offing. According to officials of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), personnel of the Army’s Garrison Security Force (GSF) were hit when they were on their way to a mosque for carrying out security duties during Friday congregations. Since it is a cantonment area, the bazaar is near sensitive military offices and installations. The two attacks occurred within three minutes of each other.

However, as if the suicide blasts were not enough to create panic and fear in Lahore, the city was once again rocked by a series of low-intensity explosions that made a mockery of the security apparatus. Five explosions in residential localities of Iqbal Town, near Moon Market in Lahore, triggered panic among residents and traders. Hardly three days earlier [on March 12],at least 18 people were killed including nine policemen when a suicide bomber riding a car ripped through the rented offices of the Special Intelligence Agency (SIA) in the Model Town Society.

Yet the deadliest suicide attack of the year 2010 was carried out on January 1 when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive laden double cabin pickup in the middle of the volleyball ground in Lakki Marwat, killing 105 people. The dead included policemen, Frontier Constabulary personnel as well as volley ball players. Another significant incident of suicide bombing took place on February 4, 2010, when three US military personnel were killed in a suicide car bombing attack on the Pakistani security forces convoy in the Koto area of the Lower Dir district. The dead included three schoolgirls and a Frontier Corps soldier. The blast took place near a girls’ high school that pulled down the building, injuring 130 others.

Before the dawn of 2010, the year 2009 had proved to be the bloodiest one for the people of Pakistan since Islamabad joined hands with Washington in the war on terror. At least 1217 innocent people were killed and 2305 injured in 80 bloody attacks carried out by human bombs in the 12 months of 2009 [between January and December 2009]. The last year had proven to be the bloodiest in terms of the number of suicide attacks and the subsequent death toll since the 9/11 episode, especially after the Lal Masjid operation carried out by the Army in July 2007. Of the 1217 innocent Pakistanis who lost their lives in suicide bombings in 2009, the number of civilian casualties stood at 863 while the remaining 354 martyred belonged to the security and law enforcement agencies. Of them, 137 belonged to the Police, 102 were army officers and jawans, 51 were the Frontier Constabulary personnel, 28 were staff members of the Inter Services Intelligence, 22 belonged to the Khasadar Force, 12 belonged to the Pakistan Rangers and two others were employees of the Pakistan Navy. On average, around 72 civilians and 30 security and law enforcement agencies’ personnel lost their lives every month in 2009 due to suicide bombings.

The Pakistani authorities investigating the unending spate of suicide bombings are of the view that most of these attacks have been carried out by the Punjabi Taliban belonging to four Sunni Deobandi sectarian-cum-jehadi groups which are working in tandem with the Pushtun-dominated Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. They believe that several South Punjab-based members of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Harkatul Jehadul Islami, who had taken part in the Afghan war, have now tied up with the TTP to carry out suicide attacks across Pakistan, especially targeting key military installations. South Punjab has grabbed the attention of the Pakistani authorities over the past few months because of the involvement of the Punjabi Taliban in a spate of fidayeen style suicide bombings, including the one targeting the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army in the garrison town of Rawalpindi on October 10, 2009.


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Lisa Doner
Lisa Doner
13 years ago

Unprecedented number of suicide hits in Pakistan in the first quarter of 2010
I have been currently a student of photography and is in the process of creating my photo essays of international occurrences. Whenever I read news like this I relate to them well for I have experienced some during my photo travels. Its been a great experience for me. The people I have met and the lives that touched me.


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