Suicide bomber kills 23 at Pakistan militant base
Friday 02 March 2012
A suicide bomber attacked the headquarters of a rival insurgent group in
northwest Pakistan today, killing 23 of its supporters in an
outbreak of factional fighting, an official said.
Elsewhere in the Afghan border region, fighting between security forces and militants claimed the lives of 41 others, an especially deadly day that showed the level of instability 10 years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan heralded the unrest.
Clashes among insurgents are quite common along the border, where tribal loyalties hold sway and the government has little or no control. Smuggling, kidnapping for ransom and drug production are all lucrative businesses that militant groups are involved in.
The suicide bomber struck the base of the Lashkar-e-Islam group in the Tirah valley, where Pakistani security forces are also fighting militants threatening the nearby city of Peshawar, said local political administration official Iqbal Khan.
A commander of the Pakistani Taliban, which is a local rival of Lashkar-e-Islam, claimed responsibility for the attack in a call to an Associated Press reporter. The commander, who gave his name as Mohammed, said it was in revenge for an attack last month that killed Taliban fighters.
The two groups have been fighting for control of the Tirah Valley over the last year.
The Pakistani Taliban is one of Pakistan's deadliest militant groups, and has links to al-Qa'ida and insurgents fighting across the border in Afghanistan. Its commanders are based in the border region, but the group has allied networks throughout the country.
Security forces have launched offensives in many border regions over the last four years, losing hundreds of men and killing thousands of alleged militants. But terrorist attacks have continued. Within Pakistan's mostly Muslim population, there is considerable support or tolerance of extremist views, and the insurgent's anti-American rhetoric resonates loudly, hampering efforts to rally backing for the offensives.
Earlier in the Tirah Valley, clashes between Pakistani security forces and militants killed seven troops and 20 insurgents from an unknown group, intelligence officials said. They didn't give their name because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Elsewhere in the border region, Pakistani security forces backed by jets bombed two militant compounds in Orakzai, killing 14 insurgents and wounding 12 others, government administrator Javed Khan said. Security forces suffered no casualties, he said.
The border regions are off-limits to reporters and very remote, meaning it is hard to get detailed and independently verified information about events there. Militants and authorities often give differing accounts.
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Zayn Malik gives first interview since quitting One Direction: 'I've never felt more in control of my life'
Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...