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May 19th, 2011

Pakistan Blast Targets U.S. Consulate Vehicle

The Associated Press and Reuters via
May 20, 2011

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Officials say a roadside bomb went off near two U.S. consulate vehicles in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. A Pakistani passer-by was killed, and some Americans were slightly wounded. …

Pakistan has witnessed a jump in violence since al-Qaida and its Pakistan Taliban allies threatened to avenge the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden in the country, including a twin suicide bombing last week that killed more than 80 people, most of them paramilitary recruits. …

Footage from the scene showed that the car apparently hit was a large, sport utility vehicle. It appeared to have veered into a pole and the hood was damaged. Ullah said the vehicle was bulletproof. Nearby buildings also were damaged during the blast.

The U.S. Consulate in Peshawar is widely believed to be a front for CIA operations, and its employees have been targeted in the past. In August 2008, Lynne Tracy, then the top U.S. diplomat at the consulate, survived a gun attack on her armored vehicle. …

Full story


Earlier incident

Scores Killed as Pakistani Taliban Claims it ‘Avenges’ Osama bin Laden Killing

Image: Scene of bombing in Pakistan
Security officials visit the site of bombing at a gate of training school in Shabqadar, Pakistan, on Friday, May 13, 2011. The explosions destroyed at least 10 vans recruits were boarding to go home for a break at the end of a session. (Photo credit: Mohammad Sajjad / AP)

The Associated Press and Reuters via
May 13, 2011

SHABQADAR, Pakistan — A double Taliban suicide attack Friday that killed 66 paramilitary police recruits and 14 other people represented the deadliest terrorist strike in Pakistan since the killing of Osama bin Laden. It sent a strong signal that militants mean to fight on and to try to avenge the al-Qaida leader. …

The bombers blew themselves up at the main gate of the facility for the Frontier Constabulary, a poorly equipped but front-line force in the battle against al-Qaida and groups like the Pakistani Taliban close to the Afghan border. Like other branches of Pakistan security forces, it has received U.S. funding.

At least 80 people died in the attack, while around 120 were wounded, police officer Liaqat Ali Khan said. Sixty-six of the dead were recruits, Khan said. …

It was the first major militant attack in Pakistan since bin Laden’s death in a May 2 U.S. raid in the city of Abbottabad, and one of the deadliest to hit the country ever. …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Image: Pakistanis burn the U.S. flag in condemnation of bin Laden's killing
Pakistanis burn the U.S. flag in condemnation of bin Laden’s killing. (Photo credit: Arshad Butt / AP)

Pakistan U.S. Supply Line Threat (May 14, 2011)

Al-Qaida Strikes Back in Iraq (May 5, 2011)

Osama bin Laden Dead (May 1, 2011)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — May 19, 2010

Bagram Air Base Attacked … Again

Image: Attack at the U.S. air base in Bagram
U.S. soldiers and Afghan policemen stand guard on a road leading to the U.S. air base in Bagram, on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. (Photo credit: Shah Marai / AFP — Getty Images)

One year ago today, I reported that Taliban insurgents launched a brazen pre-dawn attack on Bagram air base north of Kabul, one day after the deadliest day of the year for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, with seven Americans dead.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — May 19, 2009

Iraq Postpones National Election

epa01725388 A picture made available on 10 May 200...
Afghan children injured in a airstrikes receive medical treatment at a hospital in Farah province, Afghanistan on May 9, 2009. Afghan officials said dozens of civilians were killed when U.S.-led warplanes bombed several houses in Bala Boluk district of the province. (Photo credit: Stringer / EPA file)

Two years ago today, on May 19, 2009, I reported that Iraqi officials postponed national parliamentary elections until Jan. 30, 2010; that Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said “We cannot succeed … in Afghanistan by killing Afghan civilians”; and that the U.N. refugee agency revealed that nearly 1.5 million people had fled their homes in Pakistan in May in an attempt to escape fighting between government forces and Taliban militants.

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