Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility for suicide attack on paramilitary leader
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for Wednesday's suicide attack targeting the forces involved in operations against the Pakistani Taliban and the recent arrest of Al Qaeda operatives.
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CNN reports it was retaliation for an operation against the Pakistani Taliban last year. Agence France-Presse reports that the attack was a possible revenge for the arrest in Quetta Al Qaeda operatives, to which the Pakistani Taliban have a close relationship.
The attack comes two days after Pakistan announced the arrest of a trio of Al Qaeda operatives, one of them the group's "foreign minister," and gave some of the credit to intelligence sharing between the US and Pakistan. The successful operation was heralded as a sign of improving US-Pakistan relations after several tense months. Still, some worry that the attack could have a chilling effect on future cooperation or Pakistani determination to root out Al Qaeda operatives and cells in the country.
One of the attackers detonated a bomb-filled car outside the house of the deputy chief of the Frontier Corps, the paramilitary forces responsible for the Monday arrests in Quetta and for patrolling the region along the Afghan border, a militant stronghold. The second bomber detonated himself inside the house, AFP reports.
At least 24 people were killed, including Deputy Chief Farrukh Shahzad's wife, and 82 were wounded, including him. The neighborhood is a high-security one with several government offices and homes belonging to high-level government officials, The New York Times notes.
The Pakistani Taliban told AFP it "will launch bigger attacks in the future."