First woman suicide bomber identified in Bajaur bombing

Police on Sunday confirmed that the suicide bomber who struck at a World Food Programme distribution centre in Bajaur on Saturday was a woman. Though terrorists have used the burqa as a disguise in the past to penetrate security arrangements across the country, this is the first instance of a woman suicide bomber that has come to light in Pakistan.

As per last count, Saturday's blast killed 49 people and left nearly a 100 injured. While there was considerable speculation soon after the blast about the gender of the attacker, further investigations by the police confirmed that it was indeed a woman who carried out this “mission”.

Even as the police try to establish the identity of the bomber — in particular, zero in on the tribe she belongs to — Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani urged people to maintain vigil and report “the black sheep” to the authorities.

The use of a woman to carry out the suicide bomb attack has further complicated matters for the security agencies. Security analysts said more ingenious ways would have to be evolved to carry out checks, particularly in the tribal agencies.

Drone attacks

Meanwhile, in the wake of the two terror strikes in adjoining tribal agencies on successive days, Mr. Gilani reiterated Pakistan's stance that drone attacks were counter-productive. Interacting with mediapersons in Multan, he said the government was trying to convince the coalition forces stationed in Afghanistan that the drone attacks were adding to Pakistan's problems.

While these Predator attacks controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency of the U.S. are said to have the tacit support of the Pakistan government, Islamabad has simultaneously been advocating transfer of the drone technology to it.

This year has seen the maximum number of drone attacks on the tribal agencies since the U.S. began to deploy them against terrorists holed up in Pakistan along its border with Afghanistan. According to the Long War Journal, 112 drone attacks had been reported till December 17. This is much more than the 98 such attacks since drone strikes began in 2004.

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