Shabqadar: 80 killed as Taliban ‘avenge Osama’
SHABQADAR: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Friday claimed their first major attack to avenge Osama bin Laden’s death as 80 people were killed in a double suicide bombing on a paramilitary police training centre.
Around 140 people were wounded, 40 of them fighting for their lives, in the deadliest attack this year.
Friday’s explosions detonated in Shabqadar as newly trained paramilitary cadets, dressed in civilian clothes, were getting into buses for a 10-day leave, police said.
“This was the first revenge for Osama’s martyrdom. Wait for bigger attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
The bombers blew themselves up in Shabqadar town outside the biggest Frontier Constabulary training centre in the northwest.
The town is close to Mohmand.
Ahmad Ali, a wounded paramilitary policeman, recalled the horror when the explosions turned a festive Friday morning into a bloodbath.
“I was sitting in a van waiting for my colleagues. We were in plain clothes and we were happy we were going to see our families,” he said on telephone from Shabqadar hospital.
“I heard someone shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ and then I heard a huge blast. I was hit by something in my back shoulder. In the meantime I heard another blast and I jumped out of the van. I felt that I was injured and bleeding.”
Bashir Ahmed Bilour, senior minister for Khyber Paktunkhwa province, said 80 people had been killed, including 69 FC men and 11 civilians, making it the deadliest attack in Pakistan since July 9, 2010 when bombers killed 105 people in Mohmand.
Doctors in Peshawar’s main Lady Reading hospital said they were struggling to save the lives of more than 40 critically wounded paramilitary policemen and had declared a state of emergency to cope with the scale of the casualties.
“Both attacks were suicide attacks. The first suicide bomber came on a motorcycle and detonated his vest among the Frontier Constabulary men,” said the police chief of the Charsadda district, Nisar Khan Marwat.
“When other FC people came to the rescue to help their colleagues, the second bomber came on another motorcycle and blew himself up.”
The Taliban last week threatened to attack security forces to avenge bin Laden’s killing in a US helicopter raid north of the capital Islamabad.