We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Fri 13 May 2011 10:10 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

At least 80 dead in 'bin Laden revenge attack' in Pakistan

Suicide bomber on a motorcycle strikes at paramilitary force academy in northwest of country

At least 80 dead in 'bin Laden revenge attack' in Pakistan
Pakistani paramedics help injured blast victims as they arrive at a hospital in Peshawar on May 13, 2011 following a suicide and bomb attack on the paramilitary police in the northwestern Charsadda district. (HASHAM AHMED/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistani Taliban
suicide bombers killed at least 80 people at a paramilitary force
academy in the northwest Friday, and vowed further bloodshed in
retaliation for the death of Osama bin Laden in a US raid in the
country.

The first major bombing in
Pakistan since bin Laden's death on May 2, it will reinforce the common
view that his elimination will not ease violence because al Qaeda is not
centralised and will keep inspiring groups, like the Pakistani Taliban,
which are scattered globally and loosely bound by ideology.

"It's
the first revenge for the martyrdom of ... bin Laden. There will be
more," Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said by telephone from an
undisclosed location.

The bomber
struck soon after dawn as the recruits were on their way out of the
gates of the Frontier Constabulary academy in the town of Charsadda on
leave.

"It was a suicide bombing,"
said Nisar Sarwat, police chief of Charsadda, a market town surrounded
by wheat fields 135 km (85 miles) from the capital Islamabad.

One of the suicide bombers was on a motorcycle and police were investigating reports that the other attacker was too, he said.

Of the dead, 65 were recruits. Sixty people were wounded.

In
the last major attack in Pakistan, an unstable South Asian country with
a stagnant economy, two Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 41
people at a Sufi shrine on April 3 in a central city.

A new push by militants is the last thing Pakistan needs now.

The
US special forces operation to kill bin Laden embarrassed the
Pakistani government and military, who are under pressure to explain how
the al Qaeda chief lived undetected in the garrison town of Abbottabad,
about a two hour drive from intelligence headquarters in Islamabad.

The
United States, which has questioned Pakistan's reliability as a partner
in the American war on militancy, provides billions of dollars of aid
to Islamabad.

Security force
camps, posts and training grounds have been attacked repeatedly in
Pakistan over recent years and many civilians have died.

The
scene outside the academy was familiar - pools of blood mixed with
soldiers caps and shoes. The wounded, looking dazed with parts of their
clothes ripped by shrapnel, were loaded into trucks.

Body
parts of the suicide bomber served as a reminder of the steady supply
of Pakistanis willing to blow themselves up, inspired by al Qaeda's
calls for holy war.

"As we were
sitting in the buses there was a small blast. Within moments there was a
second, big blast. I fell on the road and became unconscious," said
soldier Shafeeq-ur-Rehman, whose leg was wounded in the blast.

As
he spoke from a bed at Lady Reading hospital in the city of Peshawar,
tearful people brought in dead and wounded relatives to the facility
that has treated thousands of victims of the struggle between the army
and militant groups.

"Why are we
being killed? Whose war is this? What is our sin,"" asked an elderly man
with a grey beard as the body of his teenage son was carried in on a
stretcher.

The Pakistani Taliban
launched their insurgency in 2007 after a military raid on Islamabad's
Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, where militant leaders and others were holed
up.

A series of army offensives
against their bases in the lawless Pashtun tribal belt on the
Pakistan-Afghanistan border have failed to break their resolve. They
just move from one mountain area to another when the heat is on.

The
killing of bin Laden in Pakistan is thought unlikely to weaken the
Pakistan Taliban, while the United States has stepped up drone attacks
on militants since bin Laden's death.

One of bin Laden's widows told investigators he lived in Pakistan for more than seven years, security officials said.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.
Doug 9 years ago

Brilliant - all this grandstanding about taking revenge on the West, and it turns out that all al-Qaida really wants to do is kill innocent Muslims.

But yes, of course, it's big bad America who's the real villain for killing a terrorist and giving him a semi-Islamic burial, right?

Basel A-Shaban 9 years ago

Now, how is this justified?

M. Atif Khan 9 years ago

Let this be an answer to all who claimed after the arrest of Usama in Pakistan, that Pakistan somehow benefits by knowingly and deliberately keeping live links with the terrorists. View some of the pictures released by Reuters to make everything even more crystal clear.

As for the blast and killings themselves; a revenge carried out against Pakistan for the killing of Usama by the Americans? strange.

Rest in Peace my brothers...rest in peace...

Telcoguy 9 years ago

Atif, "some" Pakistanis benefit from the close ties with the terrorists, the same way "some" pakistanis benefit from many ugly things happening there.
While this is true in most parts of the world, the disregard with which "some" Pakistanis see their own people is certainly criminal. I pity the people as most of them are honest, hard working guys whose only concern is put bread on the table for their families.
So, the bomb does not prove anything about the situation with Osama.
Most likely "some" people thought it was a great idea, now it has blown up not in their faces, but in all Pakistanis'. The ones who will suffer most as usual will be the ones with nothing to do and no power to decide.

Billy 9 years ago

What about the possibility of proper Islamic funerals for these innocent people? What about the consideration for Muslim values for these poor victims that these terrorists so harshly accused the USA of depriving Bin Laden of? Muslims around the world need to become much more vocal about denouncing these acts - isolate these terrorists from the very religion they are using as a shield to satisfy their own selfish bloodlust.