Pakistan bomb death toll rises to 89

THE death toll from a double suicide bombing on a paramilitary police training centre in northwest Pakistan has risen to 89. Pakistan’s Taliban said the attack in the town of Shabqadar – which also wounded around 140 people, 40 of them critically – was to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of US forces. 

“We have done this to avenge the Abbottabad incident,” Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, told The Associated Press in a phone call. He warned that the group was also planning attacks on Americans living inside Pakistan.

It was the deadliest attack this year in the nuclear-armed country where the government is in crisis over the killing of the Al-Qaeda chief earlier this month.

‚ÄúThere are five civilians among the dead and four other bodies which had been torn into pieces could not be identified yet,” district police chief Nisar Khan Marwat said.

The death toll was revised from a previous figure of 80.

The explosions took place as newly trained paramilitary cadets, dressed in civilian clothes, were getting into buses for a 10-day leave, police said.

Shabqadar is close to Mohmand, which is in the lawless tribal belt that Washington has branded the headquarters of Al-Qaeda and where CIA drones carry out missile strikes on Taliban and other Islamist militant commanders.

There has been little public protest in support of bin Laden in a country where more people have been killed in bomb attacks in the past four years than the nearly 3,000 who died in Al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001 strikes on the US.

Pakistan lawmakers pledged there must be no repeat of the US commando raid that killed bin Laden and said drone strikes targeting terrorists near the border with Afghanistan must end.

  • Blasts kill 89 and 140 people wounded
  • Attack to ‘avenge the death of Osama bin Laden’
  • Taliban say attacks on Americans next

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