Pak Army officers told not to wear uniforms to avoid suicide bombers

November 14th, 2007 - 8:08 am ICT by admin  
Pakistan has been rocked by an escalating number of suicide attacks onmilitary targets and political rallies before crucial elections.

According to The Times,as many as 40 attacks have been carried out this year,and two thirds of these attacks have been aimed at the military.

Over 700 people have been killed and 14,000 wounded. The deadliest were the twin suicide attacks on Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade that killed at least 140 and wounded hundreds of others on October 18.

Terrorist attacks have risen sharply since the raid by army special forces on the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) in Islamabad in July that killed over 100 people. More than 250 soldiers have been killed in such “revenge”attacks.

Tuesday’s suicide bomb attack near the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi came as Pakistani troops were engaged in a battle with Maulana Fazlullah,a radical pro-Taleban Islamic cleric in northwestern Pakistan, and his followers.

More than 60 militants and many soldiers have been killed in over four days of fighting.

Once a favourite destination for tourists attracted by its Buddhist heritage, the scenic Swat Valley has turned into a new front line inPakistan’s campaign against Islamic extremists.

The Government last week dispatched an extra 2,500 troops to crush the rebels led by Maulana Fazlullah.

Highly trained militants with machineguns and rocket launchers guard the approach to a seminary in Imam Dehri that also serves as Fazlullah’s headquarters.

Tension has mounted after militants beheaded seven soldiers and six other men suspected to be government spies on Friday. The cleric, who is known as Mullah Radio for his fiery speeches broadcast from an illegal FM radio station, has developed a large following in Pashtun areas bordering Afghanistan. He declared a jihad against the Pakistan Government after the Red Mosque raid.

Maulana Sirajuddin, a deputy to Mr. Fazlullah, has given warning of more suicide attacks if the army operation is not stopped.

The clashes in Swat have raised fears that the Islamic militants who exert virtual control in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt bordering Afghanistan have spread their influence into the rest of the country. Analysts said violence also added to the political turmoil in Pakistan. (ANI)

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