A suicide bomber targeting a military convoy killed 41 people and
wounded 45 others in northwestern Pakistan Monday, while the Taliban
claimed responsibility for a Saturday assault on the country's army
Police say Monday's attacker struck the convoy in Shangla district near
the troubled Swat valley as it was passing through a crowded market.
Six security personnel are among the dead.
The bombing, Pakistan's fourth in a week, came as the Taliban claimed
responsibility for the siege of army headquarters in the garrison city
of Rawalpindi that killed 10 soldiers, four civilians and nine
The siege ended early Sunday after Pakistani commandos stormed the compound, freeing 39 hostages.
An army spokesman (Major General Athar Abbas) said the
military has evidence that the group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan planned
the assault from the South Waziristan tribal region, with the intention
of taking hostages and exchanging them for captured militants.
The Pakistani military is preparing to expand an offensive against
Taliban fighters in South Waziristan whom the army blames for more than
80 percent of all terror attacks inside Pakistan.
The former security chief of Pakistan's tribal regions, Mahmood Shah,
told VOA the recent attacks show that the militants are united and may
want to antagonize the international community.
Early Monday, Pakistani fighter jets bombed militant outposts in the
northwestern tribal belt, killing nearly a dozen suspected militants
and wounding others.
But the government also has come under international criticism for not
cracking down on the Taliban-linked, Punjab-based militant groups.