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Yet more bombs in Pakistan – 39 dead

Coordinated attacks in Lahore, plus car bombs in cities near the Afghan border killed 39 in the most recent attacks. These assaults, designed to derail Pakistan’s planned military foray into Taliban “country”, underscore the militants’ capabilities to launch assaults on well-protected facilities, and the failure of the nation’s intelligence services to infiltrate these groups. No one has yet claimed responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban is suspect No.1 in this wave of attacks in the Punjab. The province borders on India, and the Pakistani Taliban seem to have linked up with local insurgents. Interior minister Rehman Malik said, “The enemy has started a guerrilla war. The whole nation should be united against these handful of terrorists, and, God willing, we will defeat them.” But this latest violence has virtually shut Lahore down. The first assault was one gunman in civilian clothes and a suicide vest who entered the Federal Investigation Agency and began firing. Then, several gunmen raided a police academy, killing 11, before police killed the attackers. A third team climbed the wall of a police commando training centre near the airport, shooting and throwing grenades.

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