At least 50 people were killed in Lahore, Pakistan, when three suicide
bombers attacked the Data Darbar mosque complex, a prominent Pakistani
cultural landmark and major religious site for Sufism, an Islamic sect
that emphasizes mysticism and peace. The Sufi mosque was an unusual
target, and, strangely, no one has yet claimed credit for the attack.
Who is behind this act of violence, why did it happen, and what does it
- How Did They Breach Security? Muhammad Faisal Ali of the Pakistani English-language news site Dawn writes,
"A guard identified as Salim Raza, who was posted at an entry gate
equipped with a scanner, detected a suspicious man clad in a green
turban, white robes and a shawl and carrying a bag. He ran after the
bomber who seconds later detonated his explosives, engulfing the site in
a huge cloud of white smoke and leaving the white marble floor
splattered with blood, body parts and people's belongings. Pakistani
authorities said they had found the heads of the two suicide bombers and
were investigating how they managed to penetrate into the area despite
strict security measures."
- Pakistani Taliban Denies
Responsibility, Condemns Attack Agence France-Presse's Waqar Hussain reports,
"Pakistan's Taliban, which has been instrumental in a wave of bloody
attacks blamed on Islamist militants over the past three years, denied
it was involved in Thursday's bombings ... a spokesman for
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan denied it was involved in Thursday's attack,
the second against religious sites in the city of 10 million people in
just over a month. 'We are not responsible for these attacks, this is a
conspiracy by foreign secret agencies, you know we do not attack public
places,' Azam Tariq told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.
'We condemn this brutal act. Our target is very clear and we only attack
police, army and other security personnel.'"
- Locals Blame
India, U.S., Ahmadi Minority The Guardian's Declan Walsh reports,
"Investigators said they had recovered the heads of both suicide
bombers, but there was no claim of responsibility. The Lahore
commissioner, Khusro Pervaiz, blamed the attack on a 'conspiracy in
which locals are being used' – a euphemism often used to point the
finger at neighbouring India. Some Lahore residents blamed the attacks
on the US, saying its drone attacks in the frontier were provoking
militants, while others suggested the Ahmadi community – which has no
history of organised violence – was taking revenge."
Likely 'Punjabi Taliban' Reuters' Chris Allbritton writes, "Militants
drawn from Punjab who have joined ranks with Taliban in their
northwestern bastion -- some of the most feared groups in the country --
and are likely to be high on the list of suspects. These militants,
sometimes called the 'Punjabi Taliban', are especially troublesome
because they pose a threat to stability in Punjab, Pakistan's most
economically important province and the country's traditional seat of
power. ... The attackers, assuming they're part of the constellation of
radical Sunni groups operating in Pakistan, are violently opposed to
differing views of Islam. Shi'ites, Ahmadis, and Sufis are all
considered heretics or apostates to most of the militant groups, and
thus worthy of being killed."
- Security Camera Captures One
Attacker's Identity Geo reports, "One of the two suicide
bombers who blew himself up in Data Darbar on Thursday night has been
identified, Geo News quoted police sources as saying. According to
police, the bomber identified as Usman son of Yaseen, is a resident of
Hadyara Barki, district Lahore and carried out blast in the basement of
- Taliban Trying to Spark Sectarian War? Center for New American Security analyst Londonstani explores the worst-case. "This is a big, big deal. I would agree with the various respected
analysts I have spoken to while in Pakistan who would say that the
Taliban is trying to provoke sectarian warfare in Pakistan and then set
themselves up as the protectors of the Sunnis."
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