M A I N   N E W S

Terror strikes continue in Pak
6 cops among 23 killed as suicide bombers target army convoy, police camp

No Taliban role in NY killings: FBI

Washington: The FBI on Saturday ruled out Pakistani Taliban militant leader Baituallah Mehsud's claim that he was responsible for an attack on a US immigration assistance center in New York.

Present in Kashmir valley?

New Delhi: Security forces in J&K have been put into the state of the highest alert following intelligence intercepts indicating the presence of Taliban in the frontier district of Kupwara, official sources said here on Saturday.

The blast site in Islamabad
The blast site in Islamabad. — AFP

Islamabad , April 4
Two suicide attacks in Pakistan took at least 23 lives on a bloody Saturday, when Pakistan observed the death anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was hanged in a Rawalpindi jail on April 4, 1979.

While a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a military convoy in Waziristan in North Pakistan and killed 17 civilians, the second suicide attack was launched in the capital itself, where another suicide bomber blew himself up at a police camp, the second such attack in less than two weeks. The camp targeted by the bomber is situated in an upmarket residential area and the blast occurred near the check post of the Frontier Corps in Jinnah Super Market.

The Frontier Constabulary, part of Pakistan’s paramilitary force, is deployed outside diplomatic missions and protect VIP homes.

The suicide bomber sneaked into the camp from the rear before blowing himself up, drawing retaliatory fire from the policemen. At least six policemen are believed to have died in the attack and an equal number of policemen are said to have been injured in the blast. The suicide attack in Waziristan took place hours after a US missile strike leveled a militant hideout in the area. As many as 350 people have died in the region by US missile strikes since August last year.

With the Afghan insurgency intensifying, US-led forces have been launching more missile strikes against Taliban militants on the Pakistani side of the border. But they seem to have been ineffective in containing the surge of militancy sweeping Pakistan.

US President Barack Obama, speaking at the end of a NATO summit in France, said Pakistan had to have the capacity to tackle the Al-Qaida.

“I informed our allies that despite difficult circumstances, we are going to put more money into Pakistan…we want to bring all of our diplomatic and development skills to bear towards strengthening Pakistan, in part because they have to have the capacity to take on Al-Qaida within their borders.

The US has said it is concerned about the ISI’s contacts with extremist groups, including those led by Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Haqqani network.

“The ISI’s contacts with some of these extremist groups — with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Haqqani network, Commander Nazir and others — are a real concern to us, and we have made these concerns known directly to the Pakistanis,” Defence Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview to Afghan TV.

While top officials of the Obama administration have now started publicly acknowledging the connection between ISI and extremist networks, this is possibly for the first time in recent times that the Defence Secretary has himself named the terrorist groups that have links with the ISI.

Meanwhile, an editorial in a leading Pakistan newspaper expressed its surprise that while immediate funds were needed to stop the Taliban from expanding its writ over new regions of the country, millions were being spent on a monument which marked hatred against India. According to The Daily Times, a whopping 2.5 billion rupees have been spent so far on a national monument, Bab-e-Pakistan while North West Frontier Province Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti is crying for funds to wage the war against the Taliban. — Agencies



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