Terror attacks in Pakistan
The attack on a police academy in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, is the second major terrorist strike in the city in recent months.
In August, 73 people were killed in a suicide attack at a hospital. This time, the attack was carried out in a more sophisticated manner. At least three militants entered the academy and started firing indiscriminately before two of them blew themselves up.
In 2014 Peshawar school massacre, 148 people, mostly children, were killed by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants.
Evaluation of recent terror attacks
Following the terror attacks, the army had launched a large-scale operation against the militant groups operating in the north-west.
But as the attacks in Quetta and Lahore this year would suggest, this resurgence of terror has new security dimensions. First, the site of the violence this time is Quetta. In recent years, Balochistan has been the focus of Pakistan’s counter-terror operations as the province is expected to play a major role in the $46- billion economic corridor China is building, connecting Gwadar to Xinjiang.
Second, if the only major terror group the Pakistan army had been fighting till a few years ago was the TTP, an increasing number of groups and offshoots have made the fight more complex. This week’s Quetta attack, for instance, has been claimed by three groups — a faction of the TTP; Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian militant group, and the Islamic State.
The Lashkar claims it cooperated with the IS to carry out the assault. If true, this opens the possibility for the IS to operate in Pakistan, where it does not have a strong organisational presence, through coordination with other terror groups.