Suicide attacks in Pakistan kill 80; Taliban claim bin Laden revenge

May 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Friday for suicide attacks on a military training facility in the nation’s northwest, saying they were in retaliation for the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden.

The twin suicide bombings killed at least 80 people, nearly all of them military recruits who had just completed their training, said Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a senior provincial minister. About 140 others were injured.

“Pakistani and the U.S. forces should be ready for more attacks,” said Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, who accused the Pakistani military of telling the United States where bin Laden was.

“Osama was our great leader and the killers of Osama will have to pay its price,” he said.

The back to back explosions took place shortly after scores of recruits left the Shabqadar Fort, a training facility in the district of Charsadda, said Jahan Zeb Khan, a senior police officer.

The blood-soaked ground outside the training facility was littered with burned vehicles and broken glass.

The recruits had just completed a nine month training program.

The district of Charsadda borders Mohmand Agency, one of seven districts in Pakistan’s tribal region along the Afghan border.

Police suspect Friday’s attacks were in retaliation for ongoing military operations targeting militants in Mohmand.

Mohmand is believed to be a hideout for Taliban fighters and al Qaeda-linked militants fleeing last year’s military operation in the district of South Waziristan and ongoing U.S. drone strikes in North Waziristan.

The Pakistani army has carried out numerous ground and air operations in Mohmand but they haven’t been able to stamp out the militants.

Last December, around 150 militants ambushed six security checkpoints in Mohmand, killing 11 Pakistani soldiers, officials told CNN.

Earlier in December, a twin suicide attack targeting a government building in Mohmand killed at least 40 people.

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Entry filed under: News.

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