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December 11, 2007
Suicide Attack Targets Pak Nuke Facility
Bill Roggio has the grimmest news of the day; an attack by an extremist on a Pakistani nuclear site:
As the Pakistani military continues the slow push to regain control of the settled district of Swat, suicide bombers struck in two locations, one at a sensitive weapons facility near Islamabad. The attacker would have had inside information on where the nuclear facilities are located. That means there's a traitor pretty high up the chain of command somewhere either in the army or the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service.
The most deadly attack occurred in Swat in the Northwest Frontier Province after a suicide bomber hit a police checkpoint near Matta, where the Pakistani Army just established a presence. Ten were killed, including two children and three police.
But the attack at a Pakistani Air Force base in Kamra, while only injuring seven, has far more serious implications. The Kamra complex is a likely location for Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. The suicide bomber targeted a bus filled with 35 children of Pakistani Air Force officers. The driver, a conductor, and five children were wounded in the strike.
Global Security notes the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra is one of the Air Force sites likely associated with Pakistan nuclear weapons development.
Or, as Roggio points out, the attack may have been directed at a "target of opportunity" - the bus carrying air force personnel.
Either scenario does not bode well as Pakistan moves toward a rickety democracy next month with parliamentary elections.