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Pakistani Taliban Promising Tougher Fight

VOA News May 18, 2011

Senior leaders of the Pakistani Taliban are vowing to fight with renewed zeal to avenge the death of al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden.

Pakistani Taliban leaders made the promise in interviews with news agencies broadcast on Wednesday, the same day at least 70 suspected Taliban insurgents launched two attacks on a Pakistani security checkpoint near the Afghan border.

Pakistani police officials said two waves of insurgents armed with guns and rockets targeted the Sangu Mera checkpoint on the outskirts of Peshawar. They said the initial attack came just after midnight, with the second attack coming a few hours later.

They said the attacks left two police officers dead and five more wounded. Police said at least 15 militants were killed.

In an interview with the Associated Press released Wednesday, Pakistani Taliban deputy commander Waliur Rehman said his insurgent group would complete Osama bin Laden's mission and take up the fight with "new zeal."

Another top Pakistani Taliban commander made similar comments to the Al Jazeera in a report broadcast Wednesday.

It is not the first time the Pakistani Taliban have promised to avenge bin Laden's death.

Last week, the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for a pair of suicide bombings in Khyber Pakhtunkwa province that killed at least 80 people.

U.S. Special Forces killed bin Laden during a raid in his compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad on May 2.

Meanwhile, motorcycle-mounted gunmen killed at least four Shi'ite Muslims Wednesday in a suspected sectarian attack in the southwestern city of Quetta.

Police said four other people were wounded.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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