Categorized | Pakistan, Terrorists

Terrorists Target the ISI in Lahore

Posted on 19 November 2009 by PakBee - Total hits: 6,757

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Terrorists struck an office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and a police station in central Lahore this morning, killing at least 22 persons and injuring over 200. At least thirteen of the dead are police officers, reports GEO News.

ISI Lahore 1

Reports of the attacks’ details are conflicting. Several officials have described the attack as a suicide bombing. But according to Dawn, the attack was a hybrid operation consisting of an armed attack by four gunmen and a subsequent detonation of a car bomb, which GEO News reports was 100 kilograms. The terrorists seem to have been unable to penetrate the ISI facility, but managed to level a nearby building.

According to GEO News, Punjab police have seized at least two grenades and a suicide jacket, which suggests the four attackers sought to inflict maximum damage and then kill themselves to avoid capture.

ISI Lahore 2

Punjab police have arrested four suspects, presumably the aforementioned armed attackers. Television broadcasts showed the faces of two of the suspects, both of whom were struck by bystanders as they were brought by security officers to police vehicles. One suspect was hit in the head repeatedly by an onlooker using a motorcycle helmet. Police had to push back several bystanders from attacking the arrested terrorists.

One of the attackers resembled the scruffy Afghan arrested in the March attack on the Manawan police training center. The other apprehended attacker appeared to be a middle class person, possibly an Arab or an Afghan. He was speaking while police rushed him to a vehicle and exuded a striking level of confidence, except for when he was being beaten by angered Lahoris.

Several Pakistani commentators — including Mehmood Shah, the former chief secretary of the North-West Frontier Province, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Abdul Qayyum, and Munawar Hassan, amir of Jamaat-i Islami – have blamed India for playing some role in the attacks.

But a more likely suspect is Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan, against whom military operations have begun. Mehsud has spearheaded a series of increasingly complex terrorist attacks in Lahore this year, consisting of hybrid teams and tactics. Teams consist of Pashtuns from Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as the so-called Punjabi Taliban from Pakistan’s Seraiki belt.

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