Researcher, Security and Terrorism Program
Gulf Research Center
Pakistan is in the grip of a wave of vicious suicidal attacks after religious extremists vowed to avenge the operation on the Lal Masjid/Jamia Hafsa mosque/seminary in Islamabad last week. The suicide attacks on July 15 targeting security personnel, principally in the Frontier Province (Swat and D. I. Khan district), left more than 45 dead and 100 injured.
These attacks followed another suicide attack in Miramshah, North Waziristan, a day earlier when a suicide bomber targeted a military convoy and killed 24 paramilitary troops. This attack came just a day before the deadline issued by the local Taliban to break the peace agreement brokered with the government in September. The government had, in fact, decided to deploy two army divisions in the Waziristan area in anticipation of the trouble that erupted on July 14 and other transgressions by the local Taliban over the past few months. Security has particularly been beefed up in districts that provided sanctuaries for members of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a banned jihadi terrorist organization with proven links to Al-Qaeda and the Lal Masjid seminary.
A red alert has been issued in the tribal areas in Waziristan and some volatile districts across the Frontier Province as the government braces for more trouble in the days ahead. What remains to be seen is the extent to which the government is prepared to face the backlash ensuing from the fallout of the operation in Islamabad.
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