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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bomb explosion in Bannu kills 20 security officers

Second Taliban bomb attack kills 10 near Pakistan army HQ Mon, Jan 20 01:49 AM EST image 1 of 3 By Syed Raza Hassan ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Taliban suicide bomber killed 10 people in a crowded market near the Pakistani army headquarters on Monday, a day after the Taliban killed 20 soldiers near the largely lawless, tribal region of North Waziristan, police said. The market, a short walk from the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, near the capital, Islamabad, is in one of the most secure areas of the city, said police chief Akhtar Hayat Lalika. The area was cordoned off by the military immediately after the blast. Lalika said 14 people were wounded. Two college students wearing blue uniforms were killed, said a Reuters photographer on the scene. Their bodies lay near wreckage of a bicycle and pools of blood. Rescue workers struggled to help the wounded. Windows were shattered several hundred meters away. Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the blast on behalf of the Islamist insurgents. "We will continue attacks on the government and its armed forces as the government has neither announced ceasefire nor peace talks with us," he said. A bomb planted by the Taliban ripped through a vehicle carrying Pakistani troops on Sunday, killing 20 and prompting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to cancel his trip to the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos this week. The government is keen to pursue peace talks with the Taliban to end the insurgency but there has been an upsurge in attacks since Sharif won elections in May 2013. (Saud Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan and Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar contributed to this report.; Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Nick Macfie) ================================================ Bomb explosion in Bannu kills 20 security officers By Web Desk / Reuters Published: January 19, 2014 Share this article Print this page Email . A screengrab showing the targeted area. BANNU: A roadside bomb explosion on Sunday killed 20 security officers and injured 30 others in Bannu, Express News reported. The injured – including FC and army personnel – were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital where a state of emergency was imposed. Eight of the injured are in critical condition. Security forces have cordoned off the area and started a search operation. “We fear that dozens were killed and injured,” said an intelligence source. “It is not yet clear what caused the blast… a large number of soldiers were there.” The explosion reportedly took place in a car near a security check post. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed grief over the loss of precious lives. The bomb targeted a security convoy leaving for Waziristan. “It’s not clear if it was a suicide attack or an improvised explosive device,” said one military official, adding that the soldiers were travelling in a civilian vehicle hired to carry them to Razmak in North Waziristan.

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