The United States Embassy in Pakistan has strongly deplores today’s terrorist attack at the Peshat Bazaar in Bajaur.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” said a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Islamabad yesterday, “Extremists have killed women and children, blown up mosques and markets, and shown no regard for human life or dignity. . . . Joint action against al-Qaida and its affiliates will make Pakistan, America and the world safer and more secure.”
The spokesperson added, “The United States stands beside the people of Pakistan in their struggle for a nation free of the threat of extremist violence.”
VOA says, “The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility for a bombing in northwest Pakistan that killed eight people and wounded ten more.
“A spokesman for the Islamist group told reporters the blast Saturday at a market restaurant targeted militia members who had joined the government’s fight to drive Taliban from the region.
“Authorities say the suicide bomber struck Saturday morning in a village in the Salarzai area of the restive Bajaur tribal region near the Afghan border.”
According to the New York Times, the Taliban have repeatedly attacked leaders and members of anti-Taliban militias, which are known here as peace committees, in order to force them into submission or deter them from helping the government.
“We carried out the bombing against the peace committee because they had joined the government and were maligning Taliban,” Agence France-Presse quoted a Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, as saying.
The New York Times went on to say, “Bajaur, a district on the northern edge of the tribal region along the Afghan border, has long been considered a haven for affiliates of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which use the area as a base to strike NATO and Afghan targets.
“The bombing was the latest in a string of attacks in Pakistan in the last week. At least 32 people were killed and 52 were wounded on Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle close to the office of administration officials in the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.
“On Wednesday, seven people were killed when a suicide bomber drove a vehicle carrying explosives into a police station in Peshawar.
“Two days earlier, Pakistani security forces ended a 16-hour standoff after a team of heavily armed insurgents stormed a major Pakistani naval base in the southern port city of Karachi, setting off a prolonged gun battle with security forces. At least 10 Pakistani security officers were killed in the fighting.
“The Taliban have said some attacks this month have been in retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by members of the Navy SEALs on May 2.”
Local officials say two pro-government elders were among dead.