Double suicide attack kills 80 in revenge for bin Laden
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At least 80 people died on Friday in the first major attack by Pakistan’s Taliban to avenge the death of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. A further 40 people are in a critical state after the double suicide bombing on a paramilitary police training centre in Shabqadar town in the troubled northwest of the country.
Bashir Ahmed Bilour, senior minister for Khyber P aktunkhwa province confirmed the dead which include 60 paramilitary trainees and 11 civilians making it the deadliest attack in Pakistan since 9 July 2010 when bombers killed 105 people in Mohmand.
The suicide attack took place outside the biggest Frontier Constabulary training centre in the region where Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants repeatedly attack security forces.
The town is close to Mohmand which is in the lawless tribal belt that Washington has branded the headquarters of al-Qaeda.
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.
There have been few public protests in support of bin Laden in the country where more people have died in the past four years than in the September 11, 2001 strikes on the US.
But the government has come under growing pressure to punish Washington for the raids and said on Thursday it would review counter-terrorism cooperation with the US.
In another sign of Pakistan’s damaged ties with the US, an official said Pakistan’s senior military officer General Khalid Shameen Wynne had cancelled a visit to the US.
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