21 killed in blast at police station in northwestern Pakistan
The Taliban have struck again in northwestern Pakistan, killing 21 people and wounding dozens more in a bombing at a police station today.
The attack took place at a police headquarters in the district of Kohat in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban. The massive blast leveled or damaged the police station and several nearby buildings and homes that housed families of policemen, according to SAMAA.
It is unclear if the blast was caused by a suicide bomber or via a remotely detonated bomb that was planted earlier. And although the Taliban have yet to claim credit for the attack, today's bombing is the fifth in the past week. The past four bombings have been claimed by the Taliban.
While claiming responsibility for the last attack, a suicide strike against a police station in Lakki Marwat that killed 19 people including nine policemen and two children, Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq vowed that more strikes would be forthcoming.
"We will continue suicide attacks on security forces," Tariq told AFP. "Civilians should avoid proximity with them."
Tariq said that the Taliban were striking security forces due to the US' continued use of unmanned Predator and Reaper strikes against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal areas. The US has carried out four such strikes, all in North Waziristan, this month, and 156 strikes in Pakistan since 2004.
"We are targeting Pakistani security forces because the government has allowed America to launch drone attacks on us," Tariq told AFP. "Rather it is on the Pakistan government's behest that drone attacks target us."
The Pakistani Taliban have been carrying out suicide and other conventional attacks against Pakistani security forces, the government, and civilians for years throughout Pakistan as part of the group's terror insurgency against the state.
Major terror attacks in Pakistan since Sept. 1:
Sept. 1, 2010: Suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on a Shia procession in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. More than 30 people were killed in the blasts.
Sept. 3, 2010: Suicide bombers killed more than 60 Shia protesters in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, and a guard outside an Ahmadi mosque in Mardan.
Sept. 6, 2010: A suicide bomber killed 19 people after ramming a car packed with explosives into a police station in Lakki Marwat.
Sept. 7, 2010: A blast at a police station in Kohat killed 21 people and wounded dozens more.