A Chronicle of Attacks on the Pakistan Army
April 26, 2002: Five men attempted to assassinate Pervez Musharraf by blowing up his motorcade during his visit to Karachi. The assassination plot was a failure since the explosive device they had planted in a Suzuki car failed to detonate. Two of the men, Mohammed Hanif and Mohammed Imran, were later also involved in the June 2002 attack on the US Consulate in Karachi. The men were members of the radical militant group al-Almi and were given death sentences.
December 14, 2003: Militants attempted to assassinate Musharraf in Rawalpindi when a bomb exploded barely a minute after the former president’s motorcade crossed a bridge.
December 25, 2003: Two car bombs were detonated near Musharraf’s convoy on a busy street in Rawalpindi. This was the second attempt on his life within 11 days and, although Musharraf escaped unhurt, his limousine windshield was cracked during the attack. However, 14 people were killed and another 46 people were injured, of whom many were police officers.
August 2006: A jawan lobbed a grenade at members of his own garrison in Lahore, killing 11 and injuring another 64. The army tried to cover up the incident since the assailant was a member of the forces who had turned against his own.
November 10, 2006: A suicide bomber killed nearly 42 soldiers at a training camp in Dargai, KP. The week before, the army had attacked a nearby madrassa where they allege they had killed 80 militants. The men killed in the suicide attack were mostly new recruits and another 20 were critically injured. The Tehreek-e-Nifaz-Shariat-Mohammadi, who have a stronghold in Dargai, were behind the attack.
July 7, 2007: Militants fired at Musharraf’s plane as it took off from an airfield in Rawalpindi. Musharraf was heading to Turbat when the attack took place and according to a witness just minutes after the gunfire was heard, two men chanting ‘God is Great’ were seen leaving the area. Security officials later recovered anti-aircraft weapons and a submachine gun with telescopic sight a mile away from the airfield.
December 10, 2007: A suicide bomber attacked a PAF bus carrying young children near the Fauji gate in Kamra. More than seven people, including five children of base employees, were injured in the attack.
January 16, 2008: As many as 700 militants stormed the Sararogha paramilitary fort in South Waziristan. It is reported that at least seven militiamen were beheaded and several others were taken hostage by the terrorists. Witnesses claim that after capturing the fort, the militants took all the weapons and communication devices and later a Tehreek-e-Taliban spokesman admitted that they were behind this attack.
October 10, 2009: Ten armed men, dressed in army uniforms, attacked a checkpoint at the Pakistan Army General Headquarters. The militants took more than 25 hostages and demanded the release of jihadis and Dr Aafia Siddiqui, as well as a trial of former president Pervez Musharraf. Nine of the militants were killed during the attack and the tenth was eventually captured by the forces. The army suffered 12 casualties and another two civilians were also killed. It was later found that a civilian and a sepoy had helped the militants, allegedly linked with the TTP, in carrying out surveillance of the GHQ. All those found guilty of involvement were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011 by the Field General Court Martial.
October 23, 2009: A suicide bomber killed six civilians and two Pakistan Air Force personnel at a Kamra Airbase checkpost.
February 10, 2011: A suicide bomber, after slipping undetected through six checkpoints, detonated himself at an army training centre in Mardan, killing 36 cadets and injuring another 31 soldiers. The Tehreek-e-Taliban claim that the bomber was a soldier in Mardan whereas military officials assert that he was a teenager dressed in a school uniform. This attack came soon after a major offensive against militants in the Mohmand Agency.
May 22, 2011: Around 15 militants attacked PNS Mehran, the headquarter of the Pakistan Navy’s naval air arm, in Karachi, and held off the forces for 17 hours. Casualties included 11 naval officers, two army rangers and three SSG(N) officers. At least 16 additional personnel were wounded and two aircrafts were destroyed. After nearly a year of investigations, three officers, including a base commander, were found to have been involved in the attack and all three were court-martialled by a military court.
January 27, 2012: Militants fired nine rockets at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, from a location near the compound Osama bin Laden was found and killed in the year before. None of the cadets were hurt during the attack, but one of the outer walls of the academy was damaged — a major security breach of the prestigious military institution. There were no reported casualties or injuries.
August 16, 2012: Nine Tehreek-e-Taliban men attacked the PAF Minhas Airbase in Kamra. All militants were killed during the attack, but not until after a two-hour long gun battle in which two PAF personnel also died. One of the PAF’s senior officers was injured and a surveillance plane incurred damage during the attack. District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Hilal Khan later made a statement to Dawn, revealing that one of the high-profile suspects is an ex-serviceman. The serviceman in question is most likely Adnan Rashid, who was also earlier involved in a 2004 assassination attempt on Musharraf. Another suspect was revealed to have been involved in the Pakistan Ordnance Factory suicide attacks.