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.
    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.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora