Taliban suicide bomber kills 80 at Pakistani Frontier Corps training center

The Pakistani Taliban have claimed today’s deadly suicide attack on a Pakistani Frontier Corps training center that killed 80 troops and wounded more than 100. The Taliban stated that the attack was carried out to avenge the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle detonated his bomb among a crowd of newly trained troops of Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps at a training center in the Shabqadar area of Charsadda, a settled district in Pakistan’s northwest. The troops were boarding buses as the Taliban suicide bomber pulled up, shouted “Allah Akbar” (“God is Greatest”), and then detonated his explosives. A second explosion, believed to have been caused by a remotely detonated bomb that was planted in the area, occurred shortly after the suicide bombing.

Police said that at least 75 Frontier Corps troops and five civilians were killed and another 115 people were wounded in the deadly blast. Twenty shops near the attack were also destroyed.

The Taliban immediately claimed credit for the attack, saying it was the first in an upcoming campaign designed to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US Navy SEALs and CIA operatives during a May 2 raid in Abbottabad, a small city in Pakistan’s northwest. The Pakistani Taliban blame Pakistan for aiding the raid that killed bin Laden.

“This was the first revenge for Osama’s martyrdom. Wait for bigger attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, told AFP.

The Pakistani Taliban was the first group to denounce the US raid that killed bin Laden and to explicitly threaten the Pakistani state, including the military.

“Now Pakistani rulers, President Zardari and the army will be our first targets. America will be our second target,” Ihsanullah Ihsan told Reuters the same day bin Laden was killed.

Today’s attack is the largest in Pakistan by the Taliban since Nov. 5, 2010, when a suicide bomber detonated his vest inside a mosque in Darra Adam Khel in Pakistan’s tribal areas. More than 60 people were killed in that attack.

A Taliban suicide bomber struck in Charsadda as recently as March 31. In that attack, a suicide bomber targeted a convoy that was transporting Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl political party. Twelve people were killed, but Rehman escaped unhurt. Rehman has angered some Taliban factions for his willingness to seek a political settlement to the war across the border in Afghanistan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Paul D says:

    People in Pakistan seem to be more shocked/outraged about the Seals mission being unchallenged than the fact OBL lived in Pakistan for years in plain sight in a military town!

  • JT says:

    OK. A better word than interesting would be entertaining.
    Here’s a quote from the post:
    “The camels were also carrying rocket launchers, sub-machineguns, pistols, grenades and popcorn, all concealed in large

  • mike Burk says:

    Revenge is like infinity; It is never ending. I don’t suppose they need much to call for revenge. I sneeze and they will seek revenge. A Jew is born and they seek revenge. A cartoon is published and they seek revenge. They don’t get it. Is it possible their gene pool is diminished?

  • jean says:

    JT- The Mullah Omar?? Damn…. I wonder if they are picking him up to protect him from us !

  • Villiger says:

    mike, you have to hand it to them as fighters. No admiration to be clear, just stark recognition of the viscousness of their fight.
    Its the Pak Army’s gene pool that has been reduced, from:
    A. decades of meddling in politics
    B. decades of distraction from running businesses from cornflakes to real estate
    C. decades of corruption at the top in particular
    D. decades of being the standard-bearer of the country’s mislead and insecure foreign policy
    E. decades of fighting losing battles, including one that cut their country in half.
    Pakistan’s is a war-game army. Face the fact, there is a massive gap (Pakistanis, pls read ‘deficit’ since your politicians love that word) between their outward bravado and internal rot.
    I commiserate with those who died and were injured. Sadly, there will be a lot more of these on the path to Pak’s break-up. Remember these are decades of cumulative sins, not just a handful of years. Pakistan with its mis-spent youth, made its pact with the devil long ago–and the devil will extract its price. In addition, all States are artificial, some more so than others.

  • Blackhawk Squadron says:

    Two coordinated IEDs killing 75 Pakistani troops and wounding over 100? That’s an impressive, highly effective attack. Make fun of their gene pool all you want, I suspect these “genetically diminished” Mujahideen are about to put a serious hurting on Pakistan.

  • Mr T says:

    People in Pakistan are all upset about the violation of their soverignty but don’t care about the soverignty of Afghanistan. If you feel its ok for people in safe havens in Pakistan to cross the border and attack people in Afghanistan, then you can expect that someone from Afghanistan will cross into Pakistan to return the favor. It doesn’t feel so good does it?
    What goes around comes around. The Pakastani leadership puts these guys in harms way because they export Islamic terror around the globe. I suspect many are actually in cahoots with the Taliban but get killed anyway. Willing dupes. Meanwhile, the leaders hide out in cushy digs with their women enjoying life while sending others ot their death.
    Its time to give up the violent jihad and rejoin a peaceful world

  • steve says:

    Pak is where the war needs to be fought and has been since the Talibs tucked tail and ran. We’re fighting on a “playing field” in Afg. The Talibs just keep sending in replacements from the safety of Pak. It’s well past the time to regain the initiative take the fight to the enemy.

  • Victor says:

    The Pakistani elite make a lot of hue and cry about their losses in the War on Terror. What they never give you is a breakdown of who exactly died.
    Most of the deaths are in the Pashtun dominated Frontier Corps. These are para-military forces, a little better than your local militia.
    You rarely if ever hear of any casualties from the core Pakistani Army; the Punjabi dominated one. All bombings at ISI buildings typically happen early on Friday morning (their equivalent of Sunday morning) to ensure that there are little or no ISI casualties. Only the poor security guards die.
    There has always been a degree of Pashtun nationalism associated with the Taleban movement ;even the ISI sponsored Afghan Taleban govt. never recognized the Durand Line. So the deaths of so many Pashtuns trainees raises some serious doubts in my mind. The poor cadets killed in this attack were local Pashtuns who had not even started working full time. This as sick as it gets.
    I would not surprised if it turns out to be a self-goal to earn the sympathy of the West; to highlight the the cost to Pakistan in the War on Terror. Show me deaths in attacks on the Pakistani Army (the Punjabi regiments) or ISI offices. And do not tell me that the Taleban do not have a support base in Punjab. All a pair of suicide bombers need is a vehicle to drive them a few hours. You do not need OBL type safe-houses for that.

  • Charu says:

    “In addition, all States are artificial, some more so than others.”
    Well said! The loss of life is disheartening, but it is Pakistan’s terror chickens coming home to roost. Instead of asking why bin Laden was living in their country, they made the conscious decision to instead focus on the operation to take him out. Threatening to share the stealth chopper debris with the Chinese is also a stupid move on their part. If they believe that the US is a fickle friend, they will soon find out that it is an implacable foe.

  • gerald says:

    Sad?Funny? The trained attack dogs have turned on their masters.

  • Charles says:

    You have to wonder if the Taliban didn

  • JT says:

    If by “coordinated” you mean some planning and having watches so that they are at designated (or same) time(s), that doesn’t take much.
    The sad truth about the 9-11 attacks is that, at that time, if you gave me 20 guys willing to kill themselves and either 4 of them could fly or you also gave me the money to get them trained, most anyone could have done what they did.
    The good news (shown many many times since 9-11-01, including United 93) is that passengers and crew will no longer sit idly by and let it happen.
    The problem is that, with suicide bombers you can do an awful lot in areas separate from aviation with minimal planning. Their focus on mass transit has made it somewhat easier to foil plots.
    I agree with G. W. Bush that the alternate ideology is true freedom. That is the overall anti-terror silver bullet in my opinion.

  • Steven says:

    Oh great. Taliban kills 80 Muslims as revenge for killing of Bin Laden????? If every idiot in these countries kill 80 or more soldiers, men, women and children Muslims. There be no Muslims to fight for. Idiots.

  • Vienna,14-05-2011
    That Dawn

  • Carsfresh says:

    their revenge campaign began

  • Vincent says:

    I’m wondering what may be the purpose of terror attacks in Pakistan, against the Pakistani government.
    Are the Pakistani Taliban just lashing out at whoever’s closest? Or are they trying to pressure Pakistan to act against the US or something like that?

  • Civy says:

    Interesting that for all of their bravado, and posturing, their revenge against America was not against us at all, but against the failed, and pathetically weak state of Pakistan.
    My guess is the even more pathetic “Spring Offensive” in Kandahar was supposed to be the revenge event, but after 40 hrs of operation they managed to kill a policeman, a few civilians, and held nothing. In other words, not only could they not hurt us, they couldn’t even do much damage to a very weak proxy government – which is currently defending itself better than Pakistan is.
    I’ll stick to my assertion that the Taliban would get their butts kicked by any of the Narco armies in Mexico, who kill more in a week than the Taliban do in a month.

  • Soccer says:

    Well Victor, Bill reported in 2007 that the Punjabi units of the Pakistani Army went into North and South Waziristan, and lost maybe 3,000 or 4,000 soldiers, and their morale was severely drained.
    I can’t find it right now, but I’ll try to dig it up. Interesting that Roggio would bring up ethnicity in the context he did in that article.
    Of course, many Punjabis have also died in this Long War, but nowhere near the number of Pashtuns, or Afghans, that have died altogether. The Punjabis have positioned themselves as the elite class in Pakistani society and hierarchies.

  • omar says:

    cross posting from SWJ.
    FC recruits are the sweetest and most hardworking and honest poor people in Pakistan (close relatives have served as officers in FC, so I am a bit sentimental, but what I mean is that poor people in many chronically poor communities have become accustomed to a rather thievish and dishonest relationship with “the man”…this was not typically true of very poor pakhtoons..whatever their other faults, they were upstanding and righteous people with a definite sense of honor) and they have been sorely tested by the two-faced policies of the establishment. What will they think? I dont know, maybe nothing very coherent. People think, for the most part, what they are told to think by their leaders of opinion. In this case, that message is very confused.
    The jihadi wing of the deep state probably regards them as unfortunate collateral damage. I dont think GHQ is losing too much sleep over dead poor people. An attack on islamabad, now that would be different and would lead to attempts to convince their old friends that this was no way to treat old comrades and they should be patient until the infidels leave, which blessed day is not too far off.
    I am not in a happy frame of mind.

  • villiger says:

    Bala, please feel free to use my comment any way you see fit.
    Mine was not inspired by Saudi dates or Pakistani mangos or nihari, but i do enjoy Mangalorean food though i haven’t had it for years!
    Just to continue the conversation, as some others have alluded here too, what do you reckon about giving the Pashtuns (read Taliban, good, bad, ugly–the whole shooting lot) their own State and then containing them, as appropriate. Be done with the Durand line. Lift some of the weight off Pak’s sagging shoulders. And then give an impetus to Balochistan and so on so forth.
    All King Koward Kayanis forces
    And all of his men
    Wouldn’t be able to put
    Pakistan together again
    This attack proves, sadly yet again, that Pakistani lives are cheap. Both sides are feeding off the Paki youth bulge. For the Taliban their recruits are fodder. For PakMil its an endless supply of pawns.

  • Charu says:

    As per the NYT, this was a splinter group of the Pakistan Taliban (the “bad” Taliban according to the Pakistanis) under Umar Khaled who the Pakistani army and paramilitary have been fighting (and losing to) in Mohmand with heavy casualties. It had nothing to do with events at Abbottabad, except that the Pakistani military will spin this for all it is worth.
    All of their claims for suffering huge casualties in America’s GWOT doesn’t stand scrutiny. Their losses stem from attacks by terror groups that they have lost control over; the Pakistan Taliban. This would continue whether the US pulled out or stayed. The fact remains that they (the Pakistani military) also arm, aid, and provide shelter to those who shoot and bomb our troops in Afghanistan, all the while turning in like clockwork bills for “services” rendered to the American embassy. This cannot continue!

  • KaneKaizer says:

    In related news, the Pakistani parliament has just demanded an end to US drone missile strikes, such as the one that killed the leader of the TTP Baitullah Mehsud in 2009, but did not demand that the TTP end its attacks against Pakistani military personnel, such as the recent suicide bombings that killed at least 80 Frontier Corpsmen.

  • ralph says:

    Poor Pakistan…Please DO SOMETHING

  • Civy says:

    Pakistan has now played their one, and only, trump card, cutting off our supply lines.
    Carving out a sliver of a logistics corridor from Gwadar to Dalbandin would be so much easier, and cheaper, than dealing with the professional thieves that rule Pakistan.
    There is no appreciable terrain for an enemy to hide in along that route, so with a little luck the Taliban would come fight us there where we’d be able to use our technology against them much more successfully.
    In the bargain the farmers in Helmand would be able to grow fruits and vegetables for Chinese and Indian markets and get them there before they spoiled.

  • Villiger says:

    I totally concur with your Gwadar, Balochistan logistics corridor point. We have to thank China for having built a spanking new port to enter through. Good Chinese contribution to the War that she has otherwise distanced herself from. And nip in the bud any ambitions she has in this part of the Indian Ocean.
    Other advantage is that Balochistan is the most sparsely populated province in Pakistan–less than 9 million people, ie 5% of Pak’s population with 44% of the land mass.
    And now is the time to CHANGE THE GAME.

  • villiger says:

    At the risk of repetition, i extract below from a comment i made last month:
    On game change, putting it simply, there are 2 key factors–who are the players? and what is the nature of the game?
    Yes, Russia and India allying with NATO (and other existing allies) is a definite step-up for a formidable force, more global in its nature. And a step in the right direction to counter Chinese ambitions.
    The game itself doesn’t have to open with a full-frontal war with Pakistan with its 180m people. A more subtle game of dominoes, with a controlled, but assisted, implosion of Pakistan into its constituent parts would (a) be far less costly, (b) more likely be accepted, in parts even embraced, by Pak peoples, (c) be easier to manage in the long-run, (d) isolate AQ and other hard-core terrorists into more ram-able territories, (e) provide the free world an ally in Balochistan with sea access, and (f) generally result in a more productive economic environment sustainable in the long-term.
    In other words, a win-win for all. Of course its not a bed of roses. More a no-pain-no-gain. But at least its a way out of this desperately sick situation in a downward spiral.
    Oh yes, and we can add (g) to the list above–last, but definitely not least the PakArmy and its ISI will be dead.
    Read more: https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/04/350_suicide_bombers.php#comments#ixzz1MOxRku7r

  • Victor says:

    As Omar wrote, the deaths in the FC would not have garnered more than a mention in the GHQ. They right now are busy scheming how to earn back their dignity and honor in the eyes of the common Pakistani who sees through their double game.
    For the Punjabis the Pashtuns are expendable. I read an interesting piece somewhere that it is the ISI handlers who force the Afghan Taleban to destroy schools etc.; many of them are reluctant to do it.
    My personal view is that if the Pashtuns are free from ISI (Punjabi) control, they will seek an honorable peace, where our way of life and their way of life will co-exist.
    It is critical that we stop recognizing the Durand Line and pursue the bad guys. After Abbotabad, any doubt anyone may have had about GHQ’s intentions should have cleared.
    As much as I like come to the LWJ, I would rather come here to read about how Afghans are building schools and colleges, competing in sports and in general living a normal life. As long as the Durand Line allows the ISI to play its double game, that would never happen.


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