Terrorist activities in the previous year suggest that militants have not only intensified attacks but also changed their strategies. Instead of carrying out suicide attacks, now militants are using motorcycles for blasts.
Eight bomb blasts took place in the city in February alone. Of these, three went off on motorcycles. On February 21, a bomb planted in a motorcycle went off near a hospital in Matani area of the walled city. Similarly, on February 12, an explosive packed in a motorcycle detonated near a police check post in Hayatabad. A police van was targeted with a remote-controlled explosive device packed in a motorbike on February 3 in Acheni Mera in the outskirts of Peshawar. However, luckily no loss of life was reported in these incidents.
Likewise, on February 2, police foiled a terrorist bid and seized an explosives-laden motorcycle from the limits of the Pishtakhara police station before 12 Rabiul Awwal. Whereas on February 27, five people were killed and 27 were injured when an explosive-laden motorbike detonated close to the venue of Awami National Party public gathering in Nowshera. According to police record, 12 motorcycles were stolen in January 2012 and two were recovered while six bikes were stolen in February, out of which three were recovered by the police.
While talking to The Express Tribune, Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Tahir Ayub said, “It is not necessary that militants use stolen motorbikes, they may be smuggled or from tribal areas where motorcycles do not have number plates.” To deal with them (militants) “We have increased coordination with intelligence agencies and tightened security at entrance and exit points of the city.” He added that a high-level meeting on law and order was chaired by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police last month, during which he directed police officers to remain alert.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2012.