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Backgrounder: Major militant attacks in Pakistan in recent years

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ISLAMABAD: After joining the “war on terror” as front-line state following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, Pakistan faced a major rise in terrorist strikes, which led to huge loss of lives and fortune. The May 22 attack on Pakistan navy air base in south port city of Karachi was the latest one which not only smashed the morale of security forces, government and the nation but also raised many questions over the loopholes and weaknesses of Pakistani security departments.

On late Sunday night some unknown militants, with automatic weapons and rocket launchers, entered the Pakistani navy air base in Karachi killing 13 security personnels and injuring other 15. But more importantly they destroyed Pakistan navy’s premier anti- submarine attack jet, the U.S. made P- 3C Orion of worth 80 million U.S. dollars which was the biggest financial loss that Pakistan suffered ever in one terrorist attack.

An official told media about the warning issued from Interior Ministry on May 20 which made it visible that Pakistan feared such attacks since the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad followed by the threats from Taliban and al-Qaida militants to take revenge on Pakistan.

The brief details of the other big attacks on security departments and other important points, which jolted Pakistan, are below.

May 13, 2011: A dual suicide assault killed at least 80 fresh trainees of Pakistan’s frontier constabulary outside their training center in the northwestern district of Charsadda.

Nov. 11, 2010: At least 20 persons were killed and more than 100 others injured when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive- laden truck into Criminal Investigation Department building in Karachi.

Nov. 5, 2010: A suicide bomber killed 68 people at a mosque in Darra Adam Khel, an area in the northwestern side of the country.

July 10, 2010: Two suicide bombers killed 102 people in village of Kakaghund in northwestern Pakistan.

May 28, 2010: Terrorists stormed two worship places belonging to the Qadyani religious minority in east city of Lahore and killed over 90.

March 12, 2010: A double suicide attack very close to the RA Bazaar in Lahore, which houses innumerable buildings of the armed forces and other security agencies, resulted in the deaths of at least 45 civilians and security personnel.

March 8, 2010: At least 13 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on the country’s top investigation agency “Federal Investigation Agency” (FIA) building in Lahore.

Jan. 1, 2010: At least 88 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew up his vehicle as people gathered to watch a volleyball game in a village in Bannu district of northwest Pakistan.

Dec. 8, 2010: A truck loaded with explosives blew up near the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) office in central city of Multan, killing over a dozen people and destroying many houses.

Dec. 4, 2009: At least 40 people, including 17 children and one major general, were killed when terrorists attacked a Friday congregation at the Askari Mosque in highly guarded Rawalpindi Cantonment area.

Oct. 15, 2009: At least 20 people, including 14 security officials, were killed in three separate terror attacks at the same time at the FIA building, the Manawan Police Training School, and the Elite Police Academy in Lahore.

Oct. 9, 2009: A car bomb destroyed a market in Peshawar killing at least 125 people, almost all civilians.

The biggest thrashing blow to Pakistan army came when at least nine militants, dressed up in commandos’ uniform, on Oct. 10, 2009, attacked Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and killed over two dozens of people, including six soldiers, five SSG commandos, three hostages.

March 27, 2009: A suicide attack in a mosque on the Peshawar- Torkham highway killed 83 worshippers and left over 100 injured.

March 11, 2009: Over 25 people were perished in double suicide attacks on FIA building in Lahore.

March 3, 2009: Some 12 armed terrorists attacked the bus of Sri Lankan cricketers on their way to stadium in Lahore, leaving six Sri Lankan injured and killing eight Pakistanis including six security personnel. Since this incident no international sports event has been occurred in Pakistan.

Oct. 10, 2008: At least 85 people were killed and about 200 got injured in a suicide attack at a meeting of local people who were getting united against Taliban in the northwest.

Sept. 20, 2008: The attack which was described as the 9/11 of Pakistan when a suicide bomber exploded his truck with over 800 kg of explosive materials at the main entrance of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killing at least 60 people.

Sept. 4, 2007: At least 25 people were killed and 66 injured in twin suicide attacks in the cantonment’s high security areas of Rawalpindi, a city adjacent to the capital Islamabad.

Aug. 21, 2008: Twin suicide bomb attacks killed 64 workers of Pakistan’s main arms factory near capital Islamabad.

Dec. 27, 2007: Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed along with other 16 people in a gun and bomb attack in a political rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Oct. 19, 2007: At least 139 people killed in a suicide bomb attack, the deadliest of Pakistan’s history, on Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade in Karachi after arriving home from eight years in self- exile.

Sept. 13, 2007: At least 20 off-duty elite class commandos were killed in a suicide blast at Army Officers’ Mess at Tarbela Ghazi in country’s northwestern area of Haripur.

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