Suicide blasts in northwest Pakistan on the weekend signal the Taliban remains a threat despite intensified military operations and unmanned drone attacks targeting the group's leaders, analysts say. Twenty-two people were killed and more than 150 wounded in two attacks hours apart in North West Frontier province. The insurgents are linked to those in Afghanistan, where violence against Nato and US troops is at record levels. Leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed by a CIA missile strike last month and, while the militants have a new leader, some speculate the group may have lost some of its ability to stage attacks. Even so, a retired Pakistani former intelligence chief of the region said Saturday's attacks were a reminder of the threat from Islamist extremists.
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine