NEW DELHI: The Taliban have stepped up its assault on Pakistan’s security establishment with synchronised commando-style raids on three law enforcement agencies in Pakistan’s second biggest city, Lahore.MORE AFGHANISTAN STORIESIn the fifth major terrorist attack in Pakistan in the past 10 days, heavily armed militants staged gun and bomb attacks at Lahore’s Federal Investigation Agency building and at two police training centres yesterday.The attackers, some wearing police uniforms, took hostages and detonated suicide jackets. There were also reports of women among the attackers.The death toll from the raids stood at 22 last night, including 12 police officers, eight militants and two civilians. But there were fears that figure could rise.Meanwhile, in the town of Kohat in north Pakistan, a suicide bomber rammed a car into a police station, killing 10.The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks which created mayhem in Lahore.Commandos were deployed last night at an elite police training centre at Bedian, on the outskirts of Lahore, where terrorists were holding hostages. The police academy at Munawan on the outskirts of Lahore was hit for the second time in six months. In March, 30 police recruits were killed and about 90 injured at the academy when terrorists attacked and took hostages.Seven were reported killed at the FIA headquarters, including a senior inspector.Lahore has been on high alert after terrorist attacks in Islamabad, Peshawar and Rawalpindi in the past nine days. Even so, Taliban militants were still able to stage the sophisticated attack which bore similarities to the March attack on the Munawan police academy and the commando-style ambush of the Sri Lankan cricket team in the same month.At least one of the attackers was reported to be in custody last night.There is speculation that the army will launch a ground offensive against Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan, a lawless province ordering Afghanistan.The Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, said the Lahore attacks showed Pakistan was being subjected to a “guerilla war.” He congratulated security forces on their response the synchronised attack in Lahore.More than 100 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan over the past 10 days.On Saturday, a gang of Taliban gunmen dressed in military uniforms attacked the military headquarters in Rawalpindi and staged an 18-hour hostage siege.Last Friday a suicide car bomb in the north-western city of Peshawar killed 49 people.A few days earlier a suicide bomber blew himself up in the United Nations World Food Program building, killing five humanitarian workers.
Nanjing Night Net