Blasts rattle Pak again, 26 killed

Bombers strike key airforce base, restaurant and bus carrying marriage party

The attacks are believed to be in retaliation for the army offensive on the miliitants’ stronghold of Waziristan.

As clashes intensified in the lawless tribal belt of South Waziristan, militants brought the fight to military’s front door again when a cycle-borne suicide bomber blew himself up at a security check point of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at Kamra in Punjab province, killing eight people, including two airforce guards. Fifteen others were injured in the attack. The attack took place at 7:15 am. The bomber, who was aged between 20 and 25 years, detonated his suicide jacket when security guards stopped him. Doctors said three of those injured in the attack were in serious condition.

The police said the bomber’s jacket was packed with about five kilogram of explosives and pellets. Parts of the bomber’s face, legs and arms had been found, they said. Kamra is Pakistan Air Force’s largest maintenance, and research base and this was the second assault on the facility reportedly linked to the country’s nuclear weapons programme. The first attack had occurred in December 2007.

The base also houses combat jets equipped to carry nuclear warheads, reports said.
According to US intelligence think-tank Stratfor, the strike against the Kamra complex is likely to raise renewed concerns about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
Hours after the Kamra attack, militants exploded a landmine under a bus ferrying a marriage party killing at least 18 people, including women and children, and injuring six others in Pakistan’s restive Mohmand tribal region.

The incident occurred in Lakaro sub-division, a remote region of Mohmand Agency where security forces are conducting operations against militants. The mine was planted by militants to target security forces, reports said.

Another suspected Taliban militant detonated a car bomb outside a restaurant in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, injuring at least 15 people. Witnesses said the blast occurred soon after a man parked a car outside the restaurant in Hayatabad, an upmarket neighbourhood on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province. The man, who sported long hair, fled immediately after parking the car. Over 50 kilograms of explosives were used in the attack, police said. The walls and windows of the restaurant were blown out by the blast. Police fired in the air after the blast to disperse people from the area.

No group claimed responsibility for the Kamra attack and for the strikes in Peshawar and Mohmand tribal region though the finger of suspicion pointed at Pakistani Taliban, which has carried out a wave of assaults over the past two weeks.


‘al-Qaeda based in Pakistan’

Washington, Oct 23,PTI: The al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden, though remains transnational, is based in the tribal areas of Pakistan from where it is plotting attacks against the US and its allies, an ex-US navy official has said. “It has now teamed up with the Pakistani Taliban in the recent attacks in Pakistan and India as well,” said Rick “Ozzie” Nelson, a former Navy helicopter pilot with over 20 years operational and intelligence experience.

 “The al-Qaeda remains intent on attacking the US and our friends and allies across the globe.” The organisation maintains transnational reach but is rooted in Pakistan’s semi-governed tribal areas,” Nelson said.

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