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Taliban attack on Pakistani army kills over 30 troops

The Punjab regiment has been attacked in north-western Pakistan in what the Taliban are calling a counter attack. The young suicide bomber had been dressed as a schoolboy.

A victim of the attack is transported to receive medical treatment in a hospital in Mardan

A victim of the attack is transported to receive medical treatment in a hospital in Mardan

At least 31 cadets have been killed and 50 injured at an army training center of the Punjab regiment in Mardan City in north-western Pakistan in what officials are calling the largest suicide attack on military forces in Pakistan. The attack took place in an open area of the camp during morning exercises. A young man is said to have been able to enter the normally heavily guarded camp in the early morning dressed in a school uniform.

The Pakistani Taliban have officially taken responsibility for the attack. In a telephone call from an undisclosed location, Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan is reported to have thanked God they were finally able to carry out such an attack after many attempts. But he also claimed that the attack had been carried out by an operative inside the camp and not by someone wearing a school uniform. The Punjab regiment has played a major role in fighting the Taliban in the region.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack, saying, “such cowardly attacks cannot affect the morale of the security agencies and the resolve of the nation to eradicate terrorism.” A military spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, said a total of 2,700 troops and 300 intelligence agents have been killed by the Taliban since 2003.

Editor: Thomas Baerthlein

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