In Pakistan, government fears of fundamentalist retaliation after the storming of Islamabad’s Red Mosque appear to have been well-founded.
Three suicide attacks in two days, against soldiers and police, have killed dozens in the country’s North West Frontier Province.
Sixteen people, most of them soldiers, died in an ambush on a military convoy in the district of Swat, in the tribal area bordering Afghanistan. Two roadside bombs and two suicide bombers guaranteed significant casualties.
Just a few hours later there was another bombing in the same area, at a police training centre, adding a dozen more dead to the tally.
Local hospitals were already struggling to deal with more than 40 injured victims of yesterday’s suicide bombing. That atttack killed 24, nearly all paramilitary soldiers.
Pakistan’s mountainous north-west region is a hotbed of al Qaeda and Taliban supporters. Militants there say a peace deal, signed with the authorities last September, is over. The government is moving in reinforcements.