Pakistan frets over Burqa bombers . . Pakistan frets over Burqa bombers (pakistan to consider Burqa Ban) . . LAHORE: The Taliban-sponsored third suicide attack by a veil-clad female bomber in less than a year in Pakistan has set alarm bells ringing among security agencies as the new tactic to conceal deadly explosives under all-enveloping burqas without being intercepted presents a huge challenge to counter-terrorism officials who are already finding it hard to nip the menace of suicide bombers in the bud. A female suicide attacker and a separate handcart bomb targeted the police on August 11 in the Lahori Gate area of Peshawar, killing seven people in the first deadly suicide attack during the holy month of Ramazan. The target of the female bomber, believed to be a 17-year-old, was a police check post which was completely destroyed in the attack. The girl first threw a hand grenade on the check post, 20 meters from the site of the first blast which had already killed seven people, including five policemen, and then blew herself up. But luckily enough, she failed to inflict adequate damage as her vest did not explode fully, and killed only an elderly woman. TTP quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, with TTP spokesman Azam Tariq telling the media that they have a large number of women suicide bombers who would be used in future attacks against the security forces to avenge the Pakistani military operations in the tribal belt. The TTP head in Mohmand Agency Commander Omar Khalid threatened further suicide attacks until the Pakistani military offensives, which he said were being waged to appease the United States, come to an end. The TTP leader said that using female bombers was part of a new strategy as strategies keep changing in war.â€ The Peshawar suicide bombing was the third suicide attack carried out by a female in Pakistan since December 2010. Three suicide bombings carried out by female attackers in eight months, which killed nearly 60 people and injured around 150, have raised concerns about the Talibanâ€™s dangerous strategy to multiply challenges for the Pakistani security forces. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has condemned TTP for using women as human bombs, describing it as a sign of their desperation in the wake of the strict security measures taken by the agencies which have made it difficult for the saboteurs to strike their targets at will. According to those in security agencies who are responsible for dealing with the menace of suicide bombings, the emerging phenomenon of female bombers pose a bigger challenge to the Pakistani authorities since women in their all-enveloping burqas can easily breach security and inflict maximum damage by exploding themselves. Well-informed circles in the security agencies say both the TTP and al-Qaeda have established female suicide bombing cells in remote areas of north-western Pakistan and north eastern Afghanistan. The existence of these cells was confirmed by a 12-year-old Pakistani girl, Meena Gul, who had confessed (in June 2010) to have been trained to be a human bomb. Meena Gul said she was brainwashed to kill Pakistani troops in one of several such training camps. She was detained by police in Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to Meena, female suicide bombers coming from Pakistan and Afghanistan are being trained in small cells on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border, to be eventually dispatched to their missions with a sermon, â€œGod will reward you with a place in heavenâ€. Meena said her cell was led by Zainab, her sister-in-law, who used to dress as a man and fought alongside the Taliban against Pakistani troops. Sources in the security agencies say the training cells of the human bombs operate on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border and work under the command of Qari Ziaur Rahman, the dual-hatted Taliban and al-Qaeda leader. Qari Zia is not only a top regional commander of TTP but also an al- Qaeda member who operates in Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan as well as across the border in Bajaur Agency in Fata. Ziaâ€™s private army has fighters from Pakistan, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and various Arab countries. He commands a brigade in al-Qaedaâ€™s paramilitary shadow army, which is called the Lashkar-e-Zil (LeZ), previously led by Ilyas Kashmiri, who was reportedly killed in a US drone strike in July 2011. Interior Minister Rehman Malik had claimed in March 2010 that Qari Zia was killed in an air strike, but he later spoke to the media and mocked Rehman Malik for wrongly reporting his killing. Similarly, the American CIA, which offers $350,000 bounty for information leading to his death or capture, has targeted him in multiple drone attacks in Kunar province of Afghanistan since January 2010, but failed to hunt him down despite repeated attempts. Female suicide bombers are relatively new in South Asia. The first known suicide bombing by a female anywhere in the world came in 1985 when a 16-year-old girl, Khyadali Sana, drove an explosive-laden truck into an Israeli Defence Force convoy and killed two soldiers. Since then, women have driven bomb-laden vehicles, carried bomber bags, and strapped huge explosives and metal implements on their bodies in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Chechnya, Israel, Turkey, Somalia and last but not the least, in Pakistan. Terrorist organisations worldwide which have publicised their use of female bombers include the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Syrian Socialist National Party, the Kurdistan Workers Party, Chechen rebels, Al-Aqsa Martyrs, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and most recently, Hamas. The first incident of suicide bombing carried out by a female in Afghanistan happened on June 21, 2010 in Kunar province, killing two American soldiers. Similarly, the first suicide attack by a female bomber in Pakistan was carried out on December 24, 2010 at an aid distribution centre of the United Nations World Food Programme in Bajaur Agency, which killed 47 people. The second attack was carried out on June 25, 2011 when a husband and wife team, said to be Uzbeks, attacked a police station in Dera Ismail Khan, killing seven policemen and a tea boy. The TTP had claimed responsibility for both these attacks.