This attack is an act of intimidation, aimed at affecting as many people as possible and demonstrating the ability to create chaos — and perhaps in the future, significant casualties.
One has to wonder if the ironic symbolism of the act is completely lost on the jihadists.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Taliban militants bombed a power line in Peshawar late Thursday, hours after a first attack, plunging more than half the northwestern Pakistani city in darkness, officials said.
Militants planted four bombs next to four electricity pylons close to the Jaba Mill area of the city and detonated them by remote control, Shaukat Afzal, a spokesman for the state-owned water and power supply company told AFP.
The surrounding area was thrown into darkness after the four large explosions rang out across the city.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the blasts but officials blamed “˜miscreants,” a jargon for Taliban militants who attack police and security posts and government installations.
“˜Miscreants bombed another 500 kilovolt electricity transmission line in the Dala Zak road on the outskirts of Peshawar,” said police official Anwar Shah.
Militants had earlier launched a similar attack on four pylons in Urmur, on the outskirts of Peshawar before dawn, Afzal told AFP.
The blast destroyed the grid station and left half the city without power, he said.
“˜We have made alternative arrangements to restore power supply but repairing the main transmission line will take at least five days,” said Afzal.
Peshawar is a gateway to Pakistan’s lawless tribal region, considered a hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants looking for a safe haven after the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban regime in Kabul.
Thursday”s attacks come with energy-starved Pakistan bracing for a hot summer.
Officials say electricity generation falls short of demand by nearly 25 percent. The government’s failure to meet basic electricity needs often triggers riots and civil disturbances.