Daesh tried to use woman suicide bomber in foiled Pakistan Easter plot: Army

Noreen Leghari, a would-be Daesh female suicide bomber, is seen in a video confession shown during a news conference by Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, director general of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Monday. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood)
Updated 19 April 2017

Daesh tried to use woman suicide bomber in foiled Pakistan Easter plot: Army

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A female would-be suicide bomber who had pledged allegiance to the Daesh group had planned to carry out an attack on a church in Lahore on Easter Sunday, a Pakistan military spokesman said Monday.
Noreen Leghari, a second year medical student, is in army custody after being captured during a raid overnight Friday that left four soldiers wounded and her male accomplice dead, army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters.
A filmed confession was later shown to reporters in which Leghari, dressed in a veil, said: “We were provided equipment on April 1, including two suicide vests, four hand grenades and bullets.
“We were told to use these jackets to attack a church on Easter and I was supposed to be used as a suicide bomber.”
Lahore suffered one of Pakistan’s deadliest attacks on Easter Sunday 2016 — a suicide bomb in a park that killed more than 70 people, including many children, and was claimed by the Jamaat ul Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistan has seen a surge in militant attacks this year that have dented optimism after the country appeared to be making strong gains in its decade-and-a-half long war on militancy.
But Ghafoor said that since launching a new nationwide military operation in February, the army had killed some 108 militants while 558 had been captured or surrendered — including Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesman of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar.
“The former spokesman of Jamaat ul Ahrar and the Pakistani Taliban Ehsanullah Ehsan has surrendered himself to security forces. He’s not the only one. We will share further details in the coming days,” he said. He did not indicate when Ehsan had handed himself in or give any further details.


Bomb ‘intended to kill police’ detonates on Northern Ireland border

Updated 13 min 38 sec ago

Bomb ‘intended to kill police’ detonates on Northern Ireland border

LONDON: An explosive device described as an attempted trap for security forces detonated in a village on the Northern Ireland border on Monday, but failed to injure anyone.
Police and bomb disposal experts had been working in the area of Newtownbutler over the weekend since receiving an initial report about a suspect device on Saturday.
“I am of the firm belief this was a deliberate attempt to lure police and ATO (Anti-Terrorism Officer) colleagues into the area to murder them,” Stephen Martin from the Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a statement.
Martin later told reporters that two Irish republican dissident groups, the New IRA and the Continuity IRA, “would be a very good starting point for the investigation.”
He added: “It’s fair to say their level of activity has increased this year.”
Concerns have grown that the possible return of a hard border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit could increase security tensions in the once war-torn province.
Martin said violent attacks had grown in recent months, calling on politicians to take action to heal enduring divisions in society.
“Terrorism of this nature is a societal problem,” he said. “We shouldn’t take our peace for granted.”
Three decades of conflict known as “the Troubles,” in which more than 3,500 people were killed, largely ended in Northern Ireland with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Violent incidents have continued, however.
In April, a journalist was shot dead by Irish republican dissidents during rioting in Londonderry.
“I strongly condemn the cowardly actions of those responsible for this bomb attack, which could have had devastating consequences,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in a statement.
“There is never any justification to use violence to achieve political aims,” he said.