Taliban warn of more attacks

Ultras claim responsibility for UN office blast; Pak military braces for allout offensive

“The Pakistani forces will pay a heavy price for any adventure,” a Pakistani Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq threatened as the group claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide bombing of the UN Food Agency’s office here which left five people dead and six wounded.

Militants killed
A military spokesman said six militants were killed in the bombing raids carried out on Makeen and Nawazkot areas in South Waziristan. The attacks came amid media reports, quoting senior military officials, that the military is on the brink of a ground offensive into the area, where the US intelligence suspect that the bulk of the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other foreign militants are holed up, including the top leaderOperaship.

Major General Athar Abbas told a private TV channel that the Pakistani Taliban leadership holed up in the area were responsible for “80 to 90 per cent of the terror activities in Pakistan. The root of terror is in South Waziristan. It is a must to root out this terror and curse, and for this an operation in the area is inevitable.”

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Tariq claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on the office of the World Food Programme in phone calls to several media outlets. “These institutions are not working for the public welfare and are serving the interests of the Americans,” he said. The Taliban cannot leave Pakistan at the “mercy of the Americans,” he said.

The bomber, who was wearing the uniform of a paramilitary trooper, struck the highly guarded WFP office after persuading security guards from a private agency to allow him to use the toilet.

The UN temporarily closed all its offices across Pakistan after the attack. Interior Minister Rehman Malik earlier blamed the Taliban for the suicide bombing and said the militants had plans to carry out more attacks in the coming weeks. Targeted operations have already been started against the Taliban and it could be expanded to other areas if needed, he added.

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