Πέμπτη, 15 Οκτωβρίου 2009

Coordinated Attacks Target Multiple Sites in Pakistan

Coordinated Attacks Target Multiple Sites in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Approximately 25 militants dressed in police uniforms simultaneously attacked three law enforcement agencies in Lahore on Thursday morning, the fifth major attack by militants in Pakistan in the last 10 days. The regional center of the Federal Investigation Agency and two police training centers were the targets of the assaults that occurred just before 9:30 a.m. in Lahore, the capital of the province of Punjab and Pakistan’s second most populous city. Police officials said at least 22 deaths had been confirmed so far, including 12 police officers, eight militants and two civilians. At least 10 militants attacked an elite police training center, and about 10 more stormed a second training center, according to Rana Sanaullah, the Punjab law minister. The coordinated attacks threw parts of Lahore into chaos, and in the capital, Islamabad, officials expressed dismay and surprise that another assault was under way, targeted specifically at the nation’s struggling law enforcement apparatus. The well-organized attacks, the most sophisticated in a wave that began earlier this month, appeared to be timed ahead of a planned offensive by the Pakistani Army against the headquarters of the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan, and they seemed to send an ominous signal that the militants were daring the army to come and get them. The attacks in Lahore came s after militants stormed the army headquarters in Rawalpindi last Saturday, and held 42 hostages for nearly 20 hours, a severe embarrassment to the military, the most revered institution in the country. At the training area of the Punjab elite police force, who are known for wearing black T-shirts saying “No Fear,” three women were among the militants, law enforcement officials said. About 800 trainees were reported to be inside the training center at the time of the attack. The militants climbed a back wall of the academy, a sprawling complex surrounded by empty fields, said the Lahore police chief, Pervez Rathore. Six officials were killed, he said. The militants threw grenades at the training center and forced their way into the compound, located about four miles from the Lahore International Airport, police officials said. Police officers and army rangers mounted an assault and exchanged fire for more than two hours. Wounded police trainees were taken by ambulance to hospitals during the gun battle, but the number of casualties was unclear.
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Pakistani security offices attacked
Four attacks have taken place on Pakistani police and intelligence buildings, killing at least 24 people. In the eastern city of Lahore, four gunmen broke into a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) building and opened fire, with at least two assailants, four state employees and one bystander being killed on Thursday morning. "Reportedly, four men attacked the FIA building and initial reports are that two of them have been killed," Nadeem Hassan Asif Punjab, the province interior secretary, said. An attack by 10 to 15 gunmen also took place on a police academy the outskirts of Lahore, killing six police officers and four opposition fighters. The same academy, the Manawan Police Academy, was attacked by a group of gunmen earlier this year, with 12 people dying in an eight-hour standoff. Unconfirmed local television reports said that two people had been taken hostage. Another attack also took place on the Pakistani Elite Force Headquarters in Lahore, which assailants attempted to take over. One security personnel died in the crossfire. Rehman Malik, Pakistan's interior minister, vowed not to let the attacks deter the government in its pursuit of Taliban and al Qaida fighters. "The enemy has started a guerrilla war," Malik told a local television station.
Kohat suicide attack
Earlier in the day, a suicide bomber in a vehicle struck outside a police station in northwest Pakistan, killing at least six people.

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