International

40 killed in Pakistan blast

Twin suicide bombers in police uniform killed 40 people in Pakistan's tribal area on Monday, attacking an anti-Taliban militia and pro-government elders near the Afghan border.

The bombers badly damaged an administration compound in Ghalanai, the main town in the district of Mohmand, about 175 km northwest of Islamabad and which has been hard hit by Islamist violence.

A purported Pakistani Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, threatening death to anyone who forms militias against the Islamists.

Amjad Ali, a senior official, said 40 people were killed and 60 wounded, with 25 in a serious condition.

“The bombers were wearing tribal police uniform. One of them blew himself up at the main gate and the second in the office,” said Mr. Ali.

At least 10 officials and two Pakistani television journalists were among the dead, he said.

Washington considers Pakistan's lawless north-western tribal belt a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and the area is the focus of a covert American drone war targeting senior Taliban militant commanders.

More than 100 people were believed to have been in the compound where officials, allied tribal elders and members of the local anti-Taliban militia were meeting as the bombers struck.

It was the second suicide attack in five months targeting Mohmand tribal elders allied to the government. On July 9, a suicide car bomb attack killed 105 people in the town of Yakaghund, also in the region.

Around 4,000 people have been killed in suicide and bomb attacks across Pakistan since government forces raided an extremist mosque in Islamabad in 2007.

The attacks have been blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked networks.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Mohmand claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Our war is to enforce Sharia [Islamic law] and anyone who hinders our way or sides with America will meet the same fate,” he said.


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 4:14:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/40-killed-in-Pakistan-blast/article15584110.ece

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