Pakistan: 23 Soldiers Killed in Suicide Attack on Army Base

An army base in the Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, faced a deadly attack in the early hours of Tuesday. The assailants, belonging to the emerged militant group Tahreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), targeted a police compound being used as a base camp by the Pakistani army.

Pakistan: 23 Soldiers Killed in Suicide Attack on Army Base

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Reports show that at least 23 soldiers lost their lives, with dozens more injuries in the attack. The attack began when a vehicle packed with explosives rammed into the compound’s boundary wall.

Prior to this, a group of militants attempted to breach the premises, but their initial efforts were thwarted by the army.

The militants executed a suicide bomb attack, causing the collapse of the building and explosion of ammunition stored within the compound.

The Pakistani military responded to the attack, engaging the assailants and neutralizing six of them during the operations.

A total of 27 militants were reported killed in the military operations conducted in the area overnight. The casualties among the soldiers have concerns, particularly as some of the victims were reportedly asleep at the time of the attack.

The TJP claimed responsibility for the attack on the army base. This incident is a series of militant activities, particularly in the border regions with Afghanistan.

The TJP has expressed its affiliation with the broader Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has been responsible for a range of attacks against state institutions and armed forces.

Analysts attribute the surge in militant activities to the withdrawal of the hard-line Islamist militant group TTP from a ceasefire last year.

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The TTP’s resurgence has been perceived as a consequence of the Afghan Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan in 2021.

While Islamabad claims that insurgents operate from across the border, the Taliban in Afghanistan consistently denies these allegations.

The TTP has been engaged in conflicts with armed forces and police. Although the group shares a similar hard-line ideology with the Afghan Taliban, it operates independently.

The TTP seeks to impose its interpretation of Sharia law in north-western regions, making it as a threat to the country’s stability.

The TTP’s activities, influenced by the Afghan Taliban’s success, concerns about the spillover of violence across borders. The world is closely monitoring the situation, given the complexities of the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul-Haq Kakar and caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti have condemned the attack on the army base.

Such incidents not only pose a challenge to the country’s security apparatus but also present a task for the interim government in maintaining stability during the transitional period.

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The attack’s timing, during the early hours when many were sleeping. The nature of the attack questions about the perpetrators’ disregard for civilian lives.

The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has witnessed a surge in violence, with multiple deadly attacks reported in recent months.

In January, a bomb blast at a mosque in Peshawar claimed the lives of at least 100 people. The region’s security environment underlines the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies and the military in maintaining order and safeguarding civilian lives.

The attack comes in the backdrop of violence and a surge in militant activities, particularly along the border regions with Afghanistan.

The TTP, a separate entity from the Afghan Taliban but sharing a similar hard-line ideology, has been engaged in a conflict with Pakistan’s armed forces and police.

The group aims to impose its interpretation of Sharia law in Pakistan’s north-west. Experts suggest that the TTP has been emboldened by the return to power of the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan in 2021.

The withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan has created a power vacuum, allowing militant groups to thrive and collaborate across borders.

Despite Islamabad’s claims that insurgents operate from across the border, the Taliban in Afghanistan denies any involvement in cross-border attacks.

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