14 Killed in Suicide Attack Near Pakistan Military HQ

Bombing Targeted Army Officers Mess

Though Islamabad is nominally Pakistan’s capital city, the neighboring city of Rawalpindi is in many ways the true seat of power, housing the military’s General Headquarters in a nation with a long history of military rule.

That’s made Rawalpindi, and especially its “garrison area,” a position of incredibly heightened security where attacks are extremely rare and difficult to pull off.

That didn’t stop a 14-year-old suicide bomber from attacking a group of soldiers outside the Army Officers Mess in the center of the city today, killing at least 14 people and wounding 29 others.

The attacker was disguised as a paper scavenger, one of the people who makes a living collecting paper for recycling. At least seven of the slain were Army personnel, while some students passing by on their way to a nearby college were also caught up in the blast.

The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) too credit for the strike, saying it was retaliation for recent military operations in the area around Bannu. The Pakistani government is expected to unveil a new “national security policy” with respect to the TTP and a peace process which has been essentially dead since a US drone strike killed the TTP’s previous leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, just hours before talks were scheduled.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.