Peshawar, Pakistan — At least 13 people have been killed in Peshawar, just under 100 miles from the capital city, Islamabad. Armed men disguised themselves in burqas, walked into a university and shot multiple people. Over 35 people were also wounded. Local law enforcement and military personnel responded and reportedly subdued and killed the militants. The section of the university was the Agricultural Training Institute.
I’ve lived and worked in a lot of different environments, from the towns and cities in rural Pakistan to the beaches of Tampa, Florida. The Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas is a lot different from the mountains of Afghanistan. In all of these places, people wear a variety of different things. I will say that people in Tampa are going to have a much more difficult time in concealing weapons than people with large, bulky coats in the more northern parts of the country. No one here is going to be sneaking rifles through with booty shorts and flip-flops.
Islamic culture generally requires its women to dress very conservatively, and this is an advantage many militants are acutely aware of—something I have observed several times in Afghanistan. The burqa is a perfect way to hide weapons. If you’re wearing a large coat, it still generally conforms to the contours of your body, but a burqa specifically drapes over every curve and indicator of the human body, making it very easy to put hide a rifle or a suicide vest underneath, let alone something small like a pistol or a couple of grenades.