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Pakistani police say a suicide bombing near the country's troubled Swat
Valley has killed 41 people. Monday's attack is Pakistan's fourth act
of terrorism in eight days, killing a total of more than 100 people.
It also comes as the Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for
Saturday's assault on the country's heavily guarded army headquarters
Police say the attacker targeted a military convoy, setting off a huge blast in a crowded market square in Shangla district.
Earlier, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a 22-hour siege on the country's army headquarters that ended Sunday.
spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, says security forces were able to
intercept a phone conversation of Pakistani Taliban deputy leader,
Abbas says the call was evidence the group
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan had planned the assault from South Waziristan
with the intention of taking hostages in order to free captured
"This organization is responsible for more than 80
percent of all the attacks, suicide attacks and acts of terrorism, in
our country," Abbas said. "There will be [an] operation in this area.
But it is now a matter of military judgment (of) what is the
Last Monday, a suicide bomber struck a
heavily guarded U.N. aid agency in Islamabad, killing five people. On
Friday, a suspected militant exploded a car bomb in the middle of a
busy market in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing more than 50
The Pakistani military has been proposing an operation
in South Waziristan for the past several months. Tens of thousands of
civilians have fled the area.
The former security chief of
Pakistan's tribal regions, Mahmood Shah, tells VOA the recent attacks,
including Saturday's audacious assault, show the militants are united
and may want to antagonize the international community.
message by [the] attack on the GHQ [Pakistan's army headquarters] is
possibly that the army is protecting (the country's] nuclear assets,
and therefore, if the GHQ can be attacked, how can [the army] protect
the nuclear assets?" Shah asked.
But Pakistani authorities and
top U.S. officials have dismissed suggestions that Pakistan's nuclear
installations are threatened by the country's growing insurgency.