Terror in Bannu: Taliban bomber strikes at paramilitary camp

Published: December 25, 2011
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Police and military officials stand near the rubble of a paramilitary building levelled by a suicide bomb attack in Bannu. PHOTO: REUTERS

Police and military officials stand near the rubble of a paramilitary building levelled by a suicide bomb attack in Bannu. PHOTO: REUTERS

Police and military officials stand near the rubble of a paramilitary building levelled by a suicide bomb attack in Bannu. PHOTO: REUTERS Pakistani soldiers cordon-off the site of a suicide car bombing in Bannu on December 24, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: A brief lull in Taliban violence ended with back-to-back attacks on paramilitary troops in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Five troops were killed in a suicide attack on a paramilitary camp in Bannu district on Saturday.

The attack came a day after militants seized 15 soldiers in a daredevil attack on a paramilitary fort in the nearby Tank district.

“A suicide bomber drove his four-wheeler, packed with explosives, into a camp of paramilitary Tochi Scouts on Kohat Road,” local police officer Shahid Wazir told The Express Tribune. “The bomber struck on the back side of the building, bringing down most part of the structure,” he added.

The camp serves as a stopover for paramilitary troops in their risky drive to the restive tribal region of North Waziristan, Wazir said.

Preliminary investigation suggests that the explosive-laden vehicle was driven from the tribal belt to the site of the attack, he added.

“The double-cabin vehicle used in the pre-dawn attack was packed with 500 kilos of explosives,” an official of the Bomb Disposal Unit told The Express Tribune.

Following the blast, security forces mounted a manhunt in the region and detained at least 13 suspects for questioning, sources said.

The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. The group’s spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan phoned journalists in Peshawar to claim responsibility. He warned that more such attacks would be carried out by TTP fighters.

Sources said that pamphlets were also distributed in Bannu and neighbouring areas warning shopkeepers selling music CDs and movies to shut down their businesses because “the era of the Taliban will soon return”.

Saturday’s deadly bombing came a day after hundreds of armed militants mounted a brazen attack on a paramilitary fort in the Mullazai area of Tank district. In that attack, one soldier was killed and 15 were kidnapped by the attackers.

The violence broke out amidst media reports claiming schisms among the Taliban ranks over negotiating with the government.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • faraz
    Dec 24, 2011 - 10:02AM

    Will TV channels play ‘watan ke sajeelay jawano’ for these martyrs?

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  • Basit
    Dec 24, 2011 - 10:02AM

    Pakistani soldiers continue to give sacrifices for an ungrateful nation.

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  • bangash
    Dec 24, 2011 - 10:07AM

    No drones = more suicide attacks.

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  • Harry Stone
    Dec 24, 2011 - 10:11AM

    Are sure it was not some NATO troops?

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  • Hu Jintao
    Dec 24, 2011 - 11:03AM

    @bangash:
    there were suicide attacks when drones were still bombing “suspected militants”. so your argument is baseless

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  • faraz
    Dec 24, 2011 - 11:21AM

    Suicide blasts have reduced due to military operation in South Waziristan, Orakzai and Kurram agency. TTP has been pushed into Afghanistan or confined to North Waziristan. TTP chief of suicide operations, the dreaded Qari Hussain Mehsud, was killed in drone strike; that did help

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  • Javed
    Dec 24, 2011 - 1:30PM

    Our beloved brothers have sent a reminder to all the day dreamers

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Dec 24, 2011 - 1:42PM

    Unless the army chiefs realize that militant groups have to be crushed once and for all, there is no hope left for Pakistan. For every terrorist who fights the Americans or Indians, 10 are fighting Pakistanis. Is this acceptable?

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  • Parvez
    Dec 24, 2011 - 1:43PM

    ……..and still we do nothing about the Madrassas and their sponsors.

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  • Roflcopter
    Dec 24, 2011 - 4:13PM

    TTP days are numbered

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  • plaintalk
    Dec 24, 2011 - 4:59PM

    Has any of these commenting pundits ever talked to any TTP leader to find out why they are at war with the government? Also has anyone asked why Zardari the commander in chief and Gilani, have never visited the troops laying down their lives for the country? Recommend

  • Dec 24, 2011 - 6:41PM

    Interesting on how terrorist attacks spike everytime US-Pak relations deteriorate.

    The last time, after the OBL raid, there were multiple and large cross-border attacks from Afghanistan into Pakistan in the North-West. Locals reported (according to reports in the Express Tribune) that they saw NATO aircraft providing cover for the Taliban attacks.

    Now we have had two major attacks after the Pakistan Army rejected the US investigation into the attack on Pakistani soldiers.

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  • Cautious
    Dec 24, 2011 - 6:54PM

    So much for the logic posed by some that the militants will suddenly support Pakistan as soon as Pakistan stops supporting NATO.

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  • :-)
    Dec 24, 2011 - 7:38PM

    :@ Faraz,
    No they wont because they ain’t martyred by NATO, they are killed by Taliban.

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  • Straight_Talk
    Dec 24, 2011 - 8:33PM

    People who make a living out of fighting will always find some reason to fight. Sometime in Afghanistan, sometimes in Kashmir, sometimes in Waziristans, sometimes in Swat, sometimes in Mohmand, sometimes in Bannu etc etc etc. Either you bring them to the mainstream or you find them some place to fight.The british also used to pay these people to buy peace. But no one thought of development for a change. A tribal society is very different from a modern society. So government has to take extra care. Pakistan for years now have been finding these people some place to fight. Its about time now they think seriously about bringing these tribal population to the mainstream. This would require a shift in Pakistani foreign policy which relies so heavily on proxy wars. If Pakistan sleeps on even now external powers will use these tribals against Pakistan which will not be a very nice experience.Recommend

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