Second Taliban attack kills 13

MIAN KHURSHEED
Last updated 01:28 21/01/2014

A suicide bomber kills at least 10 people in a market near the Pakistani army headquarters in Rawalpindi. Michaela Cabrera reports.

Relevant offers

Asia

Taiwan's high court rules in favour of same-sex marriage Donald Trump praises Duterte for an 'unbelievable job' on drug issue - report Defiant Duterte threatens harsh measures as thousands flee Philippines unrest Philippine church says priest, churchgoers taken hostage by IS militants Motorists' alley standoff turns nasty South Korea fires warning shots at North Korea after object crosses border Pakistan authorities seize 20 kg heroin on London-bound flight Mount Everest's famous 'Hillary Step' hasn't collapsed, it's just under snow, sherpas say Bomb blast at Thai hospital injures 24 people on anniversary of coup Indonesia police arrest dozens in raid on Jakarta gay sauna

A Taliban suicide bomber has killed 13 people in a crowded market near the Pakistani army headquarters, a day after the Taliban killed 20 soldiers near the largely lawless, tribal region of North Waziristan, police said.

The market, a short walk from the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad, was in one of the most secure areas of the city. The area was cordoned off by the military immediately after the blast on Monday (local time).

Two college students wearing blue uniforms were among the dead, their bodies lying near wreckage of a bicycle and pools of blood. Rescue workers struggled to help the wounded. Windows were shattered several hundred metres away.

The attacks come after a couple of months of relative calm as the Taliban regrouped following the death of leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone strike in November. A drone had killed his deputy earlier in the year.

After protracted negotiations, Mehsud was replaced by Mullah Fazlullah, a ruthless commander who has made large-scale attacks on Pakistani security forces his trademark.

Police Superintendent Muhammad Maqbool said five of the 13 killed on Monday were soldiers. Fourteen were wounded, he said.

Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the blast on behalf of the Islamist insurgents.

"We will continue attacks on the government and its armed forces as the government has neither announced a ceasefire nor peace talks with us," he said.

Monday's attack came a day after a bomb planted by the Taliban ripped through a vehicle carrying Pakistani troops on Sunday, killing 20. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cancelled his trip to the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos this week to address the violence.

The government is keen to pursue peace talks with the Taliban to end the insurgency but there has been an upsurge in attacks since Sharif won elections in May 2013.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content