Timeline: Pakistan under attack

The country has seen a sharp rise in violence after 2007 siege of the Red Mosque.

Pakistani police

Security forces and civilians alike have been targeted by the attackers [EPA]

After joining the “war on terror” following the attacks on the United States in September 2001, Pakistan saw a significant rise in attacks by tribal movements and groups linked to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The security forces have borne much of the brunt of the violence but hundreds of civilians have also been killed.


June 13: The military expands its military offensive into South Waziristan, where the Pakistani Taliban movement is based.

June 12: At least two people are killed in blasts in Lahore and in the city of Nowshera in North West Frontier Province (NWFP). A Taliban spokesman says more attacks will be carried out unless security forces stop their attacks against the Taliban.

June 9: At least 15 people are killed and 57 others wounded in a suicide attack at the luxury Pearl Continental Hotel in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

June 6: A bomb kills two people at a police station in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.

June 5: A suicide bomber kills at least 30 people at a mosque in the Upper Dir district of NWFP, as Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy to the region, consults the country’s leaders on what needs to be done after confronting the Taliban in Swat valley.

May 31: Pakistan’s army gains control of Mingora, the main city in the Swat valley, after several days of street-to-street battles with Taliban fighters, the military says.

May 28: Serial blasts hit Peshawar and another northwestern city, leaving at least 13 people dead and more than 100 injured.

May 27: A car bomb in Lahore’s business district kills at least 30 people and wounds more than 200 others.

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced by fighting in northwest Pakistan [GALLO/GETTY]

May 13: Suspected Taliban fighters attack supply trucks parked at a transport terminal in Peshawar, destroying eight vehicles.

May 10: Security forces kill up to 200 Taliban fighters during Swat offensive, military says.

May 8: Miltary says it has killed at least 140 suspected Taliban fighters in Swat valley. Major General Attar Abbas, a military spokesman, says a “full-scale operation” is in place against the Taliban. 

May 7: Government forces step up offensive in Swat and Lower Dir districts of NWFP, killing 60 suspected Taliban fighters.

May 6: Security forces target Taliban strongholds in Northwest Frontier Province with helicopter gunships and artillery, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

May 5: At least four security men are killed after a suicide bomber rams his car into a police checkpoint near the city of Peshawar.

May 3: Two government workers are killed by suspected Taliban fighters in retaliation for the army killing Taliban fighters.

May 2: At least 16 fighters and two soldiers are killed in fighting after an attempted assault on a checkpoint in Mohmand tribal region. 

May 1: About 100 people are reported dead after four days of fighting between government forces and pro-Taliban fighting in the Buner district, just 100km from the capital.

April 18: A car bomb is detonated at a checkpoint in the northwestern Pakistani town of Hangu’s Doaba area, killing at least 22 people, including five security personnel, and injuring another 15.

April 15: A suicide car bomber attacks a security post in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 18 people, nine of them police and injuring five others. The bomber set off his explosives as he pulled up at a checkpoint in Charsadda, near the city of Peshawar.

April 5: At least 20 people killed and 50 others injured when a suicide bomber blows himself up outside a Shia mosque in Chakwal, 80km south of Islamabad.

April 4: A suicide attack in Islamabad kills eight paramilitary soldiers.

March 30: At least 12 policemen killed and 100 others injured in attack on police training academy near the eastern city of Lahore.

March 27: At least 48 people killed and scores more injured after a suicide bomber demolished a mosque packed with hundreds of worshippers attending Friday prayers in the town of Jamrud near the Afghan border.

March 3: At least five policemen are killed and six members of the Sri Lankan cricket team injured in attack in Lahore.

February 20: At least 30 people killed and more than 60 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack on a funeral procession in the city of Dera Ismail Khan in North West Frontier Province.

February 5: At least 24 people are killed and 50 others injured in a suspected suicide bombing near a Shia mosque in Dera Ghazi Khan, a town in central Pakistan.


December 28: At least 30 people are killed in a suicide car bomb blast at a polling station near Buner, a town in the North West Frontier Province during a by-election for a provincial assembly.

December 5: A car bomb kills 20 people and injures at least 45 others in Peshawar. The attack destroyed a hotel, a mosque and set fire to several shops. Police officials said that chemicals intended to spread the fire were contained in the bomb.

November 2: At least eight Pakistani soldiers killed in suicide attack in South Waziristan, close to Afghan border, hours before arrival in Pakistan of David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command.

The Marriott blast was said to have the ‘hallmarks’ of an al-Qaeda attack [AFP]

September 20: Over 50 people killed and hundreds injured in suicide bombing at Islamabad’s Marriott hotel. The Taliban denied a role in the blast, but US intelligence said the attack had the “hallmarks” of an al-Qaeda operation.

September 3: Snipers fire at Prime Minister Gilani’s motorcade in a failed assassination attempt.

August 21: At least 59 people are killed by two suicide bombings as they arrive for work at an arms factory in the town of Wah, 30km west of Islamabad.

The Pakistani Taliban claim the attack which takes place just days after Pervez Musharraf steps down as president.

July 6: A suspected suicide blast targets police officers deployed to provide security for a rally marking the one-year anniversary of the Lal Msjid siege.

June 2: A suicide bomber blows up a car outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad killing at least six people and wounding about 20. A message purporting to be from al-Qaeda claims responsibility for the blast and suggests it was a response to the re-publication of cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad.

May 18: A bomb attack on the Army’s Punjab Regimental Centre market in the city of Mardan kills at least 13 people, including four soldiers. This was the second attack in Mardan, a month after a car bomb on April 25 killed three and injured 26 people.

March 15: A bomb is thrown over the wall of an Italian restaurant in Islamabad, a favourite hangout for foreigners. A Turkish woman is killed and several others, including four FBI agents, are hurt.

March 11:
Twin suicide car bomb strikes in Lahore kill 24 people, most of them in an attack on a government security office in the eastern city.

March 2: At least 40 people die when a suicide bomber attacks a traditional tribal meeting in the Darra Adam Kheil region, near the city of Peshawar.

February 29: About 38 people are killed and 75 injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Mingora in Swat District  during the funeral of a senior police officer who had been killed just hours earlier. 

February 18: Aaj TV reports that at least 24 people are killed and nearly 200 injured in election-related violence.

February 9: An explosion at an election rally in Charsaddain northwestern Pakistan leaves at least 25 people dead. The attack is believed to be targeting members of the secular ANP party, the leader of which was assassinated two days earlier.

January 10: A suicide bomber walks up to police officers outside the high court in Lahore and detonates his explosives. Nineteen people die, including 16 police and three passers-by.

An explosion at an election rally in Charsaddain northwestern Pakistan leaves at least 25 people dead. The attack is believed to be targeting members of the secular ANP party, the leader of which was assassinated two days earlier. 


December 27: Bhutto is killed in a second suicide bombing after a rally in Rawalpindi. More than 20 other people are also killed in the blast.

Another 47 people die in riots following the attack as protesters blame Musharraf’s government for failing to provide adequate security for the opposition leader. 

December 21: A suicide bomb blast targeting Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, head of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, kills at least 57 people and injures more than 100 at Jamia Masjid Sherpao, in Charsadda District.

November 24: Thirty people are killed in two suicide attacks in Rawalpindi. In the first incident, a suicide bomber crashed his car into a bus carrying Inter-Services Intelligence officials to work, killing 28 officials and a bystander.

In the second attack another suicide bomber attempted to enter the General Headquarters (GHQ), blowing himself up when he is asked to identify himself.

October 30: A police checkpoint in the high security zone of Rawalpindi, less than one kilometre from Musharraf’s camp office, is hit by a suicide bomber killing seven people, three of them policemen, and injuring 31 others.

October 18: The convoy of Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister and leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party, is attacked by a suicide bomber shortly after she returns from self-imposed exile.

Bhutto survives the blast in Karachi, but about 140 people are killed and more than 450 injured.

Two suicide blasts in Rawalpindi injured at least 66 people [EPA]

September 4: At least 25 people are killed and 66 injured in two suicide bomb blasts in high security areas of Rawalpindi during morning rush hour.

The first blast took place near Qasim Market where a defence ministry bus carrying about 38 civilians and uniformed officials was hit, killing 18 people.

Five minutes later, a second blast took place behind the military’s general headquarters killing seven people.

July 27: A suspected suicide bomber kills at least 13 people at the Muzaffar hotel in Aabpara, Islamabad, after hundreds of stone-throwing protesters clash with police as the Lal Masjid reopened.

About 140 people in total lose their lives to suicide attacks in the month following the mosque raid.

July 15: Another 49 people are killed and hundreds injured in a suicide attack and a number of car bombings across the North West Frontier Province in an apparent retaliation for the Lal Masjid operation.

More than half the deaths came in a suicide attack on the Dera Ismail Khan police recruitment centre.

July 14: At least 23 paramilitary troops die and 27 others are wounded when a suicide bomber rams an explosives-packed car into their convoy in the town of Miranshah in North Waziristan region near the border with Afghanistan.

July 10: More than 100 people are killed as Pakistani security forces storm the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) and a neighbouring religious school in Islamabad. The military operation came at the end of a long siege prompted by students seizing a number of police officers.

The crackdown at the mosque followed an anti-vice campaign by administrators in which students harassed music and video shop owners and abducted a number of women accused of being prostitutes.

The bloody end to the siege undermined the reputation of the security forces and led to an upsurge in attacks.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies