‘With 290 suicide attacks, Pakistan suffered most since 9/11′

September 9th, 2011 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir Bhutto Islamabad, Sep 9 (IANS) Pakistan suffered the most in the US-declared “war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks, facing almost 300 deadly suicide bombings and the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, a media report said Friday.

“It’s close to ten years now since 9/11. In the decade of the US’s ‘War on Terror’, Pakistan has suffered the most, facing at least 290 suicide bombings which have led to the death of 4,700 people, left thousands more injured and caused immense losses,” said the Urdu daily Jang.

Citing a report by the interior ministry on the 9/11 attacks and its aftermath, it said the sole suicide bombing in Pakistan prior to 9/11 was the attack on the Egyptian embassy here in 1995, which had resulted in the death of 15 people, mostly Pakistanis engaged as security guards there.

“After 9/11, the situation turned horrific with suicide bombing attacks in hitherto peaceful cities and towns of Pakistan,” the Jang said.

The first big attack was in 2002, when Karachi’s Sheraton Hotel was targeted and led to the death of 11 French engineers engaged in a project for the Pakistani Navy. In 2003, there was an attack on a religious congregation in Quetta and an assassination bid on then president Pervez Musharraf, who had a providential escape.

After this, the incidence of suicide bombings started to rise. In 2004, there were seven attacks, leading to 89 deaths, four in 2005 (84 deaths) and seven in 2006 (161 deaths).

In 2007, however, there was a sharp rise. The year saw 54 attacks, out of which the most tragic was the assassination of Bhutto. The total loss of life in the year was pegged at 765.

According to the interior ministry report, the sudden spike in suicide attacks in 2007 was possibly due to the operation against the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, which a pair of clerics used as a base for their attempts to impose stringent Islamic law in the area.

There were 59 suicide attacks in 2008, causing 893 deaths and 76 in 2009 (950 deaths).

The number of attacks (49) declined in 2010 but the loss of life was more (1,167 deaths).

Till September this year, there have already been 32 attacks in which at least 500 people have lost their lives.

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