Pakistan: Who was behind Lahore blast?

A building of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Lahore was targeted in a suicide car bomb blast March 8, killing at least 13, including two security officials, and injuring 89 others. The targeted building is variously described as an “office” where terrorist suspects were interrogated and a “safe-house”—implying it may have been a clandestine prison. While the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility, Xinhua quoted officials including the ex-secretary of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Brigadier Mehmood Shah, saying the operation was beyond the Taliban’s capability—which raises the question of who really did it. (Blackwater, the paranoid will doubtless tell us.) (Dawn, March 9; Xinhua, VOA, March 7)

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  1. More terror in Lahore
    A series of bombings in Pakistan’s second city, Lahore, killed dozens of people and wounded more than 100 others March 12. At least 45 people, including 10 soldiers, were killed in the first attack—a double bombing aimed at military vehicles. A second attack later in the day near a police station is reported to have claimed another four lives. The double bombing occurred in RA Bazaar, a residential and commercial neighbourhood where several security agencies have facilities. (AlJazeera, March 12)

  2. More border violence in Pakistan
    Five Pakistani soldiers and at least 21 suspected militants were killed in clashes in the tribal district of Orakzai near the Afghan border March 26—a day after military aircraft bombed areas in the district killing at least 11 people. Militants led by Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Meshud are thought to have moved to Orakzai following the government offensive in South Waziristan. (BBC News, March 26)