Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The toll from a twin bombing this morning in the district of Charsadda in northwest Pakistan is at least 90 dead and 100 wounded. The attack targeted a Pakistani paramilitary force and was claimed by a local fundamentalist cell, close to the al Qaeda terror network. There are also several civilians victims. The massacre is a first response to Osama Bin Laden’s killing May 2 last, during a blitz by U.S. special forces in Abbotabad.
Two suicide bombers targeted a group of recruits in the barracks of Shabqadar in Charsadda district, as they left the barracks on leave. The soldiers were on board 15 buses, invested by the explosion. Other sources speak instead of a suicide bomber aboard a motorcycle and a bomb planted in the ground. The fundamentalist group, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, stressing that this was the "first revenge attack for the death of the sheikh of terror”. Bin Laden had taken refuge in Pakistani territory, in a villa a few miles from the capital Islamabad.
"I was sitting on a bus waiting for fellow soldiers," Ahmad Ali, an injured soldier, told AFP news agency. "We were in civilian clothes - he adds - and happy because we were going to see our families." Suddenly, he says, he heard the cry "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great, ed), followed by a "devastating explosion. Something hit me back. "
Pakistani extremists are ready and speak of "a first revenge attack for the martyrdom of Osama [Bin Laden], who was killed May 2 in a raid by U.S. special forces on Pakistani territory, which has raised controversy in the country and criticism of the executive . The Taliban spokesman Ehsan Ehsanullah announces: "Expect more and more powerful attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan."
Charsadda is about 30 km away from Peshawar and is included in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), considered a stronghold of Pakistani and Afghan Taliban. In the past, in a kind of tacit agreement between the government, military and Islamic fundamentalists prevailed, who actually commanded area. The war on terror waged in the recent past by Islamabad - under pressure from the United States - has pushed the Pakistani extremists to strike military barracks, police offices and institutional settings with greater frequency.