Peshawar, Oct 9: Recent data released by a Pakistani law-enforcement agency has revealed that over the past six years, as many as 116 suicide bombings have taken place in the country, and that they were still going on 'unabated"'. The time period assumes significance as it follows Pakistan"s decision to join the US-led war on terror after the 9/11 air attacks.
According to it, the first suicide attack took place at a church in Islamabad on March 16 2002 killing five people and injuring 40, including the then Sri Lankan high commissioner to Pakistan. And, 50 days later, French nationals were attacked by a suicide bomber in Karachi, killing at least 14 persons, including nine French nationals. “Since then suicide bombings have continued unabated," The News quoted the data as saying.
It said that a total of 37 suicide blasts have occurred in the first nine months of the current year, perishing over 570 people. Out of these 37 attacks, 12 occurred in NWFP alone.
The year 2007 witnessed the most number of suicide bombings as terrorists attacked 57 targets during the year all over the country, killing over 760 persons, said the data and added that during the period, the country lost a former prime minister and late PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, in one such attack in Rawalpindi on December 27. At least 30 people were killed and over hundred injured in the incident.
The gruesome suicide attack on the Marriott Hotel was also included in the list, in which around 50 people were killed. Described as 9/11 of Pakistan, the attack was said to be the worst one in Pakistan as 600 kg of explosives were used in the blast.