Deadly Weekend Attack in Pakistan

Monday, October 12, 2009

Forty one people were killed Monday at a market blast near the Swat Valley in Pakistan, according to the Associated Press.

Another 45 people were wounded in the Shangla district market attack. No one took responsiblity for the deaths, which was probably caused by a suicide car bombing targeting an army vehicle on the scene, police official Tahir Khan said.

The Taliban did take credit for the 20 deaths over the weekend during its 22-hour siege of a Pakistani army compound in Rawalpindi. Taliban spokesperson Azam Tariq called the AP to say the Taliban entered the compound to avenge the death of Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud. A U.S. fighter drone killed Mehsud in August.

"This was our first small effort and a present to the Pakistani and American governments," Tariq said.

The Pakistani army said the Taliban's siege was aimed at taking top army officers hostage and freeing jailed Taliban militants.

Today's market blast makes the fourth terrorist attack in just over a week in Pakistan. In attempts to combat the attacks, the Pakistani army is planning an offensive in South Waziristan, the Al Qaeda and Taliban stronghold on the lawless Pakistani-Afghan border.

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