Author: By RIAZ KHAN, AP
Attacks on security forces, civilians and Western targets have surged since
the government launched an offensive in mid-October against militants in the
border region of South Waziristan, where al-Qaida and Taliban leaders are
believed to be hiding out.
The city has been a main focus of the attacks, which in the last week alone
have killed over 50 people, including 10 at the regional offices of
Pakistan’s top intelligence agency, which was targeted by a massive truck
bombing Friday. The agency, Inter Services Intelligence, has been overseeing
much of the country’s anti-terror campaign.
Security was tightened in and around the city after Friday’s attack. Police
were manning checkpoints at all entry points to the city and were checking
every vehicle, said a local government official, Sahibzada Mohammad Anis.
“Suddenly, a car exploded with a big bang,” said police official Malik
Jehangir, who was working at the checkpoint. “There was a long queue of the
vehicles. One of our officials wanted to search the car when it exploded.”
Jehangir said 10 people were killed, including two police officials. Four
children and a woman were among the dead civilians, he added.
Taliban and al-Qaida fighters are waging a war against the Pakistani
government because they deem it un-Islamic and are angry about its alliance
with the United States. The insurgency began in earnest in 2007, and attacks
have spiked since preparations for the offensive in South Waziristan began.
The government has vowed that the militant attacks will not dent its resolve
to continue the operation in the region, where officials say the most deadly
insurgent network in Pakistan is based. The army claims it is making good
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