Burqa-clad suicide bomber kills 45 in Pakistan

Quick Register
User Name:
Human Verification

Go Back   UNP > Chit-Chat > News

UNP Register


Old 31-Dec-2010
Burqa-clad suicide bomber kills 45 in Pakistan

Burqa-clad suicide bomber kills 45 in Pakistan @ Aid Distribution Centre

Khar (Pakistan): A burqa-clad female suicide bomber in Pakistan lobbed hand grenades, then detonated her explosive belt among a crowd at an aid centre on Saturday, killing at least 45 people in militants’ latest strike against the authorities’ control over the key tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Police believed it was the first time Islamic militants have sent a woman to carry out a suicide attack in Pakistan, where the US-led war in Afghanistan against al-Qaida and the Taliban insurgents continues to spill over despite Islamabad’s repeated claims of victory on its side of the porous border.

The bomber, dressed in a head-totoe burqa, was challenged by police at a check point, officials said. She then charged toward a group of 300 people lined up outside the food aid distribution centre in the town of Khar, tossing two hand grenades before blowing herself up.

The victims, the official said, had gathered near a food hub for the displaced returnees of the tribal region. “I had stayed at the regional headquarters overnight to be able to collect my food ration,” said Taj Mohammad, 35, at the Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar. Mohammad said that he saw a woman in a burqa, then heard her scream, followed by two explosions. “I was hit in the leg and dragged myself for some time before falling unconscious,” he said.

A few others being treated at the hospital corroborated Mohammad’s version and insisted that the shriek was that of a woman and not of a man hiding in a burqa. A security official who requested anonymity said that only DNA tests would prove the sex of the bomber.

The attack in Khar, the main city in the Bajur region of Pakistan’s northwest, came a day after 150 militants waged pitched gun battles against five security posts in the adjourning Mohmand tribal region to the south. The fighting, which left 11 soldiers and 24 militants dead, was an unusually strong show of strength by insurgents in border country that the military has twice claimed to have cleaned of militants.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday’s suicide attack in Khar, through its spokesman, Azam Tariq. The spokesman suggested the victims may have been targeted because most of them belonged to the Salarzai tribe, which was among the first to set up a militia—known as a lashkar—to fight the Taliban in 2008. Other tribes later formed similar militias to resist the militants.

Police said the victims were from various parts of Bajaur who gather daily at the center to collect food tokens distributed by the World Food Program and other agencies to conflicted-affected people in the region. The people were displaced by an army offensive against Taliban militants in the region in early 2009.

Male suicide bombers often don the burqa as a disguise. In 2007, officials initially claimed Pakistan’s first female suicide bomber had killed 14 people in the northwest town of Bannu but the attacker was later identified as a man. Islamic militants in Iraq have used women suicide bombers several times, since women in their all-enveloping robes are seen as able to pass more easily through security, especially since male security officers are often hesitant to search women. AGENCIES

Post New Thread  Reply

« Taiwan woman to marry herself for new life in New Year | Blast on the roof of the church @ Philippines »