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Intelligence in Pakistan warns of suicide attacks by Taliban

Taliban commanders may carry out 12 suicide attacks in various parts of the country.

world Updated:

Pakistan's intelligence agency has alerted the government about plans by Taliban commanders to carry out 12 suicide attacks in various parts of the country.

According to intelligence reports submitted to the Interior Ministry, the attacks have been planned by commanders such as Baitullah Mahsud, Abdullah Mahsud, Sheikh Khalid Mahmood and Nazir Wazir.

The reports also name five of the 12 expected suicide bombers and their targets, officials here said.

They say that Nurani, a resident of Ghazni district in Afghanistan, has been given the task to carry out a suicide attack in Islamabad or Sargodha.

Gul Jan, who belongs to the Mahsud tribe in South Waziristan, has reportedly been tasked with an attack in Lahore. Miatol, who belongs to a Punjabi tribe, is stated to be planning an attack in Dera Ismail Khan.

Ziaul Haq, a resident of Shand Estate, is reported to be preparing a suicide blast in the Bahawalpur region. Mohammad Zaman, a resident of Waziristan, is said to be planning attacks in Lahore and Rawalpindi.

Taliban-linked militants based in the Waziristan tribal region, including Baitullah, have been blamed for several suicide attacks in Pakistan.

Baitullah leader of the Pak Taliban from North Waziristan vowed revenge attacks after the Pakistan Army struck a suspected Al Qaeda hideout in South Waziristan on January 16, killing some 80 alleged militants.

Four soldiers were killed in a suicide attack on a military convoy seven days later.

Since then there have been suicide attacks in Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar and DI Khan.

Another report submitted to the Interior Ministry says that the current wave of suicide attacks in Pakistan indicates that terrorists are targeting senior security officials and politicians who support President Pervez Musharraf's policy of "enlightened moderation".

Last Tuesday, a man assassinated Punjab Social Welfare Minister Zil-e-Huma in public in Gujranwala, allegedly because of her strong support for the enlightened moderation policy.

In light of the reports, the Interior Ministry has directed the provincial and district authorities concerned to tighten security. Pakistan police recently arrested about a dozen suicide bombers planning attacks in Karachi and other cities.

First Published: Feb 22, 2007 14:51 IST