Teenage Taliban bomber kills 24 in Pakistan

A teenage suicide bomber targeted police in a bustling Pakistan town square on Friday, killing at least 24 people and wounding dozens in the tribal area near the Afghan border, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying it had wanted to kill the local chief and deputy of a tribal police force recruited by the government to help defeat the Islamist insurgency in the northwest.

Both died in the attack in Khar, the main town of Bajaur district, after a bomber who intelligence officials said was aged 14 to 16 detonated explosives strapped to his chest.

Bajaur has been one of the toughest battlegrounds in Pakistan's fight against a northwestern Taliban insurgency. The military conducted major offensives there in 2008 and 2009 and has repeatedly declared it secure.

Friday's blast was the deadliest bombing in Pakistan since February 17, when 31 people were killed by a suicide attack on Shiite Muslims in the tribal district of Kurram.

"The death toll has risen to 24," Islam Zeb, the administrative head of Bajaur tribal district, told AFP. He had earlier said 20 people were killed.

Raids were later carried out in the surrounding areas of Khar and two men aged 17 and 18 were arrested and suicide jackets found, he said.

At least five policemen, including the local tribal police chief and his deputy, were among the dead and 46 people were wounded. Shops and a restaurant were destroyed.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility, saying that anyone involved in "activity" against the Taliban "will be treated with iron hands".

"Our attacks will continue until (US) drone strikes end," Ehsan told AFP.

It was the third bomb attack in two days in Bajaur, after twin blasts killed five people -- including pro-government elders and security personnel -- on Thursday.

The violence highlights the insurgency in Pakistan at a time when Islamabad is under renewed US pressure crack down on militants based on its soil, such as the Haqqani network, blamed for a spectacular assault on Kabul last month.

According to an AFP tally, around 5,000 people have been killed in attacks blamed on the Taliban and its allies since July 2007, when Pakistani troops raided an extremist mosque in Islamabad, sparking a bloody insurgency.

Documents released by the US Thursday showed that Osama bin Laden had been unhappy with the Pakistani Taliban for killing civilians and that Al-Qaeda leaders wrote to its chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, urging him to mend his ways.

Pakistan has also lost more than 3,000 soldiers in the fight against homegrown insurgents but has resisted US pressure to do more to eliminate havens used by those fighting the Americans in Afghanistan.

The United States conducts a secretive drone war against Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants on Pakistani soil, despite increasingly vocal public denunciations from the government, which initially gave its tacit approval to the strikes.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States have lapsed into stalemate since the covert American raid that killed bin Laden last May and US air strikes that inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

Pakistan has shut down NATO supply lines into Afghanistan and last month parliament approved new guidelines on relations with the United States, which included a call for an end to drone strikes.

It remains unclear whether the impasse with Washington can be solved before this month's NATO summit on Afghanistan in Chicago, to which Islamabad has been invited.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options