News / Asia

Taliban Attacks Pakistan Security Compound

Policemen and rescue workers gather outside a building where unidentified gunmen killed police cadets in Lahore on July 12, 2012.
Policemen and rescue workers gather outside a building where unidentified gunmen killed police cadets in Lahore on July 12, 2012.
Sharon Behn
ISLAMABAD - Taliban militants on Thursday killed nine police officers in the second deadly attack on Pakistani security forces less than a week.

The Taliban attackers, armed with automatic rifles and hand grenades, stormed into a building in the eastern city of Lahore, killing the police officers then escaping on motorbikes and in a car.

Many of those killed were from Pakistan's northwestern region, close to Taliban strongholds along the Afghanistan border. They were in Lahore training to become prison guards.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesperson told local media the assault was in response to the mistreatment of jailed Taliban members.

Police chief Habibur Rehman told reporters that Thursday’s dawn attack was similar to another on a Pakistani army camp in Gujrat, north of Lahore, on Monday. Seven soldiers and police died in that raid.

He says the attackers were the same and suggests the killings are linked to Pakistan’s war against terrorism. He says Pakistan has to fight these terrorist groups and their allies and will step up security as a result of these latest incidents.

Lahore and Gujrat are in the eastern province of Punjab, an area that had been relatively free of the chronic militant violence often seen in Pakistan’s northwest.

Muhammad Amir Rana, director of Pakistan’s Institute for Peace Studies, said the latest incidents indicate that Tehreek-e-Taliban - the Pakistani Taliban - are still active in the area. And, he says, their tactics are changing.

"The most important thing which we have seen in these two attacks is that now TTP and its affiliates are using targeted killing more frequently rather than suicide bombers," he said.

Rana said there appeared to be no direct link between the attacks and militant anger at the recent agreement between Washington and Islamabad to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

But he said the Taliban’s focus on Pakistan security forces indicated it was punishing them for their willingness to deal with the United States.

"You may link it with their perception about the Pakistan military and security forces that they are now ally of U.S. and NATO and deserve the same punishment as the aggressive forces in Afghanistan - this is part of the narrative they follow," he said.

Attacks in Punjab province had decreased in the last year. Rana said the drop in violence may have led to a certain relaxation in the security forces’ surveillance, opening an opportunity for a Taliban attack.

The Pakistani Taliban has killed thousands of military, police and civilians in repeated attacks from its strongholds in the northwest. In 2009, Pakistani troops swept through parts of the region and pushed the militants back to the border with Afghanistan. Hundreds of militants were killed and captured in the operations.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More