Increasingly bloody attacks in Pakistan

Hakimullah Mehsud

Following on from the attack on the Pakistani military’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, and a mass casualty attack on a market on 9 October, there has been another suicide VBIED in the North West Frontier Province. Reportedly a VBIED struck a military vehicle in a marketplace in Alpuri, killing at least 40 people and wounding many more. Ten of the dead are said to have been military personnel.

What is interesting about this is that, to date, suicide attacks against military and security forces in Pakistan have been relatively discriminating (in that they did not normally have very high levels of collateral civilian casualties).  Previously, mass civilian casualty attacks have been limited to sectarian attacks on Shia mosques or neighbourhoods.

When Hakimullah Mehsud became the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, he was described as reckless and more aggressive than his predecessors. So with this attack and the incident on the 9th, where another 40+ were killed in an apparently indiscriminate attack on a market in Peshawar, it might be that we are about to see a much more lethal set of incidents in Pakistan, as the TTP become less fussy about who they kill in their attacks. As Pakistan gears for a much-heralded offensive against the TTP, there may be bloody days ahead.

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