Saturday 15 October 2011

Pak suicide bombers avoid military, kill civilians.

A study of the 12 suicide attacks carried out in Pakistan in the period from July to September shows that of the 158 people killed, 123 (84 per cent) were civilians and of the 336 injured, 308 were civilians.
The Islamabad Conflict Monitoring Center notes that four attacks were in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three were in Baluchistan, four in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and one in Sindh. There were no attacks in the Punjab, Azad Kashmir or Gilgit-Baltistan. Seven of the attacks were in public places, while only four were aimed at security forces. Only one attack was aimed at the Pakistan Army and that was foiled by an alert soldier (who nonetheless died).
Looking at the figures for the first nine months of 2011, there were 36 suicide attacks in Pakistan, only four of which were aimed at military installations, including 'soft' targets such as a military bakery and a recruitment centre.
The CMC says that the operational capacity of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been badly damaged: "Initially suicide attacks were meant to target only high value targets, which required high level of planning, but now TTP using its suicide weapon just like a shotgun with almost no strategic planning involved." 
Aftermath of suicide attack on a mosque in Jamrud, 19 August
The report adds that the death of the TTP's Qari Hussein in a drone strike last year was a huge blow to the TTP. Hussein was the main planner for suicide attacks. "TTP's command structured is now ineffective and suicide attacks are no more controlled by its central command." The consequences are that targets are now chosen by local commanders, with predictable results. For example, a suicide attack on a mosque in Jamrud on 19 August that was planned by the Tariq Afridi group of the TTP based in Khyber Agency and which killed more than 50 people has caused huge damage to the organisation, even in areas where there was previously some sympathy.

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