Tags: Pakistan | unrest | northwest

Wave of Militant Attacks in Pakistan Kills 27

Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 06:29 AM

A series of militant attacks across Pakistan Tuesday left at least 27 people dead, including two officials overseeing security for a polio vaccination drive.

Pakistan's armed forces launched a major offensive against Islamist militant strongholds in June which stemmed the tide of near-daily attacks the country had endured in recent years, but violence now appears to be on the rise again.

Five separate strikes hit on Tuesday, including two roadside bombs, an attack on a military post and a car bombing targeting a judge.

At least five soldiers and 15 militants were killed in a gunfight after insurgents attacked a checkpost of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) in Orakzai, one of seven restive semi-autonomous tribal regions on the Afghan border.

"More than 50 militants attacked the checkpost. Two soldiers embraced shahadat (martrydrom) while 15 terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire," a senior security official told AFP.

Six soldiers sustained injures in the attack, he said, adding that the militants fled after the FC troops retaliated.

Another security official confirmed the incident and casualties.

 

 

In Bajaur, another tribal area on the Afghan border, a roadside bomb killed two security officials responsible for security arrangements for an ongoing polio vaccination drive, local government official Sohail Khan told AFP.

The officials were not guarding polio teams themselves, but were checking arrangements in the area, where Taliban militants are active, he added.

Polio cases have soared to a 14-year high in Pakistan this year, with 235 confirmed infections -- more than double the total for the whole of 2013.

Pakistan is home to 85 percent of of polio cases around the world in 2014 and efforts to stamp out the crippling virus have been badly affected by militant violence.

Since December 2012, at least 30 polio vaccinators have been killed in Pakistan, along with nearly 30 police and security personnel guarding them.

Militants allege polio vaccination is a cover for espionage or a Western-conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.

Another roadside bomb exploded near a military vehicle in the northwestern town of Bannu on Tuesday, killing one soldier and wounding another.

Pakistan has been battling Islamist groups in its semi-autonomous tribal belt since 2004, after its army entered the region to search for Al-Qaeda fighters who had fled across the border following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

In June the army launched a major offensive against militant hideouts in North Waziristan tribal area after a bloody raid on Karachi Airport ended faltering peace talks between the government and the Taliban.

The military push seemed to put the insurgents on the back foot and for several months there was a lull in attacks around the country.

But a suicide attack at the main border crossing with India on November 2 shattered the relative calm, killing nearly 60 people -- the deadliest strike in Pakistan in more than a year.

 

 

A car bomb targeting a judge of the anti-terrorist court Nazeer Ahmad Lango killed a 10-year old boy and wounded 25 in the southwestern city of Quetta, the capital of restive Baluchistan province, police said.

Resource-rich Baluchistan is home to a long-running separatist conflict that was revived in 2004, with nationalists seeking to stop what they see as the exploitation of the region's natural resources and alleged rights abuses.

The province has also been the focus of a rising tide of sectarian violence mainly targeting Pakistan's Shiite Muslim minority group, as well as Islamist violence.

In a drive-by shooting on Tuesday, a provincial government official, four children and a woman were killed while driving through Baluchistan's Bolan district, 170 kilometres (105 miles) southeast of Quetta, local administration official Kamran Raeesani told AFP.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but incidents of drive-by shooting mostly targeting Shiites and government officials are quite common in the province.

 

© AFP 2017

   
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A series of militant attacks across Pakistan Tuesday left at least 27 people dead, including two officials overseeing security for a polio vaccination drive.Pakistan's armed forces launched a major offensive against Islamist militant strongholds in June which stemmed the...
Pakistan, unrest, northwest
631
2014-29-11
Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014 06:29 AM
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