At least 69 dead and dozens of wounded. It's the toll from three suicide attacks,
launched during the week-end by extremists linked to Taliban in tribal areas bordering
Afghanistan. Attacks meant to retaliate the army blitz against the Red Mosque
Three attacks in two days.
Twenty-four soldiers were killed Saturday morning near Miranshah, in the tribal
region of North Waziristan, when a car bomb exploded near a military convoy.
Sunday morning, in the Swat Valley, district on the North West border (Nwfp),
an army column was hit by four explosions triggered by two hidden roadside devices
and two car bombs: thirteen soldiers were killed. Moreover, the explosions have
destroyed the nearby houses and killed 6 civilians.
Few hours later, in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, a suicide bomber blew himself
up among hundreds of would-be policemen lining up in front of a recruiting center
set up in the city stadium: at least 26 were dead.
The end of the ceasefire.
Premonitory signals of this bloody wave of attacks were more than evident.
Few days ago the North Waziristan-based council of tribal leaders, tied to the
Talibans, foretold the end of the truce signed with the Pakistan Government last
September, calling people for Holy War against the central Government to retaliate
the bloodbath of the Red Mosque. The decision was confirmed on Saturday by Abdullah
Farad, the spokeperson of the Wazire Taliban militants.
At the same time, in the North West border district, Maulana Fazalullah, leader
of Tehreek e-Nafaz e-Shariat e-Mohammadi (Tnsm), a Taliban-linked movement, marshaled
his militias ordering the roadblock in the Valley.
“Musharraf is paying for his mistakes”, Ahmed Rashid said. “All the Taliban-style extremist movements in the country are concentrated
in the pashtun tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, where there are also Pakistani
and foreign armed militants tied to Al-Qaeda” declared to PeaceReporter Ahmed Rashid, a well-known Pakistani journalist and worldwide expert of Taliban
and radical islamic groups.
“The majority of the hundreds of students killed or wounded during the Red Mosque
siege came from there: in those areas there are now thousands of people, family,
friends or partners looking for revenge.”
“In dealing with the crisis of the Red Mosque crisis Musharraf did everything
wrong - Rashid pointed out - he ignored the problem for months, when it was still
possible to solve it peacefully, and let the crisis grow till he found himself
in a dead-end street. Eventually, he did not have any other choice but to use
military action, which now comes back to trouble him.”