By Syed Moazzam Hashmi/Zhang Qi
ISLAMABAD, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Counter-attacks have been launched by militants in Pakistan on Monday as a large number of suspected terrorists have been arrested or killed following last Friday's suicide attack in the country's northwest tribal area of Mohmand Agency which has so far claimed 107 lives and injured more than 120 others.
Earlier this morning, local media reported that a girls' school in Sheikh Baba area of Bajaur Agency in northwest Pakistan was blown up by militants, bringing to 89 the total number of schools destroyed by militants in the area so far. As the blast took place on early morning and few students have turned up at the school, no casualties were reported in the blast. This attack could have been done by Taliban militants as they are strongly against the female receiving education.
Shortly after this, another report came in saying a 10-kilogram bomb planted under a bridge in Mian Mandi Bazaar area of Mohmand Agency where Friday's suicide attack took place was defused by the bomb disposal squad.
Following this, a rocket fired by unknown gunmen reportedly hit a marketplace in the country's northwest tribal area of Khyber Agency, only two people were reportedly injured in the rocket attack.
At about noon, a suicide blast in Khawasi Banda area of Kohat, a city south of Peshawar, was reported by local media, saying an unidentified man with explosives strapped to his body prematurely blew himself up before reaching the target. Police sources said the suicide blast took place near a house of a local tribal elder who was injured in an ambush by militants about a month ago.
Monday night, local media reported one security personnel was killed and four injured in an attack by unknown gunmen on a security force convoy in Orakzai.
All the incidents happened in Pakistan's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan and notorious for heavy presence of Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.
Observers believe that the series of attacks are obviously carried out in retaliation as many suspected terrorists and militants have been reportedly arrested and killed during an reinforced crackdown by the Pakistani police and army following last Friday's suicide bomb attack.
It is reported that over 600 suspected terrorists have been nabbed during a large-scale search operation in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa following Friday's incident in addition to a seizure of arms and ammunitions in large quantity.
In Peshawar alone, about 178 suspected terrorists were reportedly apprehended since last Friday.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani army has stepped up its fight against the militants in Orakzai, a tribal area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is believed to be a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.
On Sunday alone, at least 22 militants were killed in a fresh strike launched by the military forces in the area.
A militant commander named Naseer Kakkar was killed in a military operation in Lower Dir. He was said to be a mastermind behind four bloody attacks and murder of several foreigners.
Analysts believe that as the Pakistani police and army step up their fight against militants more terrorist attacks in retaliation are expected in the coming days.