Pakistan Taliban bombers kill 80 security men
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, May 14, IRNA -- Two Pakistani Taliban bombers Friday struck a training center of security forces in the country’s northwest and killed nearly 80 people and wounded over 100 more, a provincial minister said.
Taliban said the deadliest attacks were the first to avenge the death of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden who was killed by US forces in the Pakistani city of Abbotabad on May 2.
The bomber struck the center of Frontier Constabulary (FC) at the town of Shabqadar, 35 kilometers from Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province and killed militia recruits, who had completed one-year training and were ready to assume duties including anti-terror mission. They were about to go for on a 10-day leaves.
Senior Provincial Minister Bashir Bilour confirmed that 80 people, mostly security men, were killed and around 115 others were injured.
The first bomber, riding on a motorcycle, detonated his explosive vest near the main gate of the roadside Frontier Constabulary training centre. The second bomber, who too was on a motorcycle, struck about eight minutes later as security personnel were removing the dead and injured from the scene, witnesses and police said.
Frontier Constabulary commandant Akbar Hoti said reporters that precautions taken by his force had limited casualties.
'We were taking precautions, such as sending the personnel on leave in batches of 15. More casualties were caused by the second blast,' Hoti told reporters.
This was the first major terrorist attack in Pakistan since al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in the U.S. raid in Abbottabad, also in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province.
Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeada had declared to take revenge of Osama’s death and a Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility of the attacks.
It was also the deadliest attack since November last year, when a suicide bomber killed nearly 70 people at a mosque at Darra Adam Khel tribal region in the northwest.
The Frontier Constabulary, which is under the federal government, is one of the major anti-terror forces. A Taliban bomber had also killed the FC Chief last year in Peshawar. Taliban have also targeted the force in the past.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the bomb blasts and said such acts can not disrupt the anti-terror campaign.
The President said the government and people are determined to defeat terrorism and such gruesome acts cannot deter the resolve of the nation which remains united to defeat terrorists.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack, saying militants have no regard for human life or religion and were 'pursuing their own nefarious agenda'.
Reiterating his government's resolve to fight militancy, he said 'such cowardly acts could not undermine the war against these elements'.
The morale of the people is high, providing impetus to the government's efforts to eliminate militancy and extremism, Gilani said.
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30384018
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