New York, Oct.10 : Pakistan has overtaken Iraq and Afghanistan in suicide-bomb deaths this year, its intelligence agency reports.
Suicide bomb attacks have spiked in Pakistan, from two in 2002 to a record 56 in 2007, according to the Institute for Conflict Management, based in New Delhi. As of August of this year, the country had seen 25 suicide-bomb attacks, ICM reports.
In a grim indicator of the rise in attacks, according to Pakistan's intelligence agency, this year Pakistan has overtaken Iraq in suicide-bomb deaths.
It counted 28 suicide bombings in Pakistan that killed more than 471 people in the first eight months of this year. By comparison Iraq saw 42 such attacks and 463 deaths; Afghanistan, 36 incidents and 436 casualties.
According to the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), Thursday's suicide bomb attack at the headquarters of the Anti-terrorism Squad of the Islamabad police force, has added to the rise in bomb attacks in Pakistan.
The CSM quotes Hassan Askari Rizvi, former professor of Pakistan Studies at Columbia University, as saying: "The message [from Thursday's attack] couldn't have been clearer. The militants want to show that they have the capacity to hit Pakistani institutions - even those ones trusted with the responsibility of protecting the rest."
According to the CSM, Pakistan needs more than political will to deal with these attacks.
"Pakistan will need to improve its counterterrorism abilities. Most of the time there is no claim of responsibility, and investigations don't uncover much. Unless we have concrete information on where this is coming from and why, it will be a hard fight to fight," it quotes Khalid Rahman of the Institute of Policy Studies in Islamabad, as saying.