Killers turn to suicide

Last week’s tit-for-tat suicide attacks by sectarian extremist groups in Pakistan mark not only a dangerous new high in sectarian violence in the country, but a changing battlefield, one where suicide bombers are more frequently being utilized. With there being no dearth of volunteers for suicide missions – in some attacks more than one suicide bomber has been used – the possibility of a surge in such attacks in the coming months cannot be ruled out. More than 75 people have been killed in sectarian violence in the past fortnight alone in Pakistan. On October 1, 30 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayers in a Shi’ite mosque in the eastern district of Sialkot. A week later, about 40 Sunnis were killed and more than 100 injured when a bomb ripped through a crowd of mourners attending a public rally in Multan to mark the first anniversary of the shooting of Sunni religious leader Azam Tariq. Most of the casualties were followers of the Sepah-i-Sahab (Soldiers of Mohammad’s Companions), an outlawed extremist Sunni group that Tariq headed and which has been blamed for many bloody attacks on Pakistan’s Shi’ite community. Last Sunday, four people were killed in a Shi’ite mosque in Lahore when a suicide bomber opened fire, then blew himself up. The Sepah-i-Sahab has been renamed the Millat-i-Islamia. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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