Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - An armed commando opened fire on a military jeep in Islamabad, killing two people. The incident happened today in a residential area in the capital and is the latest in a series of attacks that have bloodied the country in recent weeks. The army, meanwhile, continues its offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan, the government has ordered the closure of all schools following the attack on the Islamic University International 20 October, which killed eight people (seven of which students).
Today in the attack in Islamabad, Gen. Moinuddin Haider-Asghar and his driver died, a third soldier, who was also aboard the vehicle at the time of attack, was injured. Local witnesses report that the army vehicle was riddled with bullets. So far no one has claimed responsibility.
In recent weeks Pakistan has experienced a wave of suicide attacks against strategic targets, which has caused over 180 casualties. A Taliban response to the long announced military offensive against their stronghold in South Waziristan, which began on 17 October. The latest assault was unleashed against the International Islamic University in Islamabad, which killed eight people. The attack was claimed by Qari Hussain Mehsud, Taliban commander, better known as the “mentor of suicide bombers". In a telephone call to the BBC, the fundamentalist leader said" the whole Pakistan is a war zone".
In response, the government yesterday ordered the closure of all schools, colleges and universities in the country. Rashid Mazari, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the measure remains in force until the end of the week to reinforce security measures.
Meanwhile, the army continues its offensive against the Taliban and fundamentalist groups in South Waziristan. In recent days the military captured Kotkai, birthplace of the Pakistani Taliban chief Mehsud Hakimullah. The response of the extremists was immediate, who regained control of the city.
According to the army i9t will take at least six or eight weeks of fighting to crush the resistance of the Taliban in the province. The war is causing a mass exodus from the area, similar to what happened in spring in the Swat Valley, forcing about 250 thousand people to flee their homes.