Pakistan Security Brief

Death toll from Monday’s Karachi blast rises to forty-three; Pakistani military captures key Pakistani Taliban commander in Swat; militants destroy NATO-bound fuel tankers in Balochistan; Pakistani military operations kill several militants in Orakzai; militants blow up school in Shabqadar area.

  • On December 28 an unknown person detonated a bomb in a procession of people celebrating the Shia holiday, Ashura. Following the blast in Karachi, angry marchers set ablaze hundreds of shops and violently targeted rescue crews during riots that broke out following the attack. The death toll from the explosion yesterday has risen to 43. During the past few days, Pakistani Shias have been the target of several attacks throughout the country. The December 28 blast is the third such attack against Shia processions in three days.  A similar attack also occurred in Muzaffarabad on December 27.[1]

  • The Pakistani army reported Tuesday that it has killed a wanted militant commander, Abu Zar, while conducting operations in the northwest Swat valley. Abu Zar is claimed to be a Taliban commander and explosives expert, as well as being the nephew of the late Sher Mohammad Qasab, a former lieutenant of Mullah Fazlullah. Reports suggest Zar frequently killed Pakistani soldiers and policemen.[2]

  • Unknown attackers planted a bomb underneath a parked NATO oil tanker that was adjacent to more than two dozen tankers. The bomb was later detonated and damaged three additional tankers. The attack occurred Tuesday on a highway connecting Quetta and Sibi.[3]

  • Pakistani military operations in Orakzai Agency have killed nine militants and wounded 14 others on Tuesday. A helicopter gunship targeted a house where militants were believed to be hiding, inflicting the casualties.[4]

  • Militants have targeted a girls’ school in Shabqadar on Monday, destroying the building with two bombs. Pakistani troops are currently engaged in fighting with militants in the surrounding region. There were no reported casualties from the blast.[5]

[1] “Several laid to rest as Karachi blast toll rises to 40,” Dawn, December 29, 2009. Available at “Funerals for Pakistan suicide bomb victims,” BBC, December 29, 2009. Available at “Blast in Pakistan-administered Kashmir kills five,” BBC, December 27, 2009. Available at
[2] “Troops kill wanted terrorist commander in Swat,” Dawn, December 29, 2009. Available at “’Taliban commander’ Abu Zar killed in Swat,” BBC, December 29, 2009. Available at
[3] “Blast damages Nato tankers on Quetta-Sibi highway,” Dawn, December 29, 2009. Available at
[4] “9 militants killed in Orakzai Agency,” News, December 29, 2009. Available at
[5] “Taliban blow up girls' school in Shabqadar: police,” Dawn, December 29, 2009. Available at
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