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Pakistani suicide bomber targets army HQ

Taliban avenges Red Mosque assault, killing at least 13

Pakistani suicide bomber targets army HQ

Police inspect the site of the blast near the military headquarters in Rawalpindi (Aamir Qureshi / AFP) reporter, Rawalpindi

January 20, 2014

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A suicide bomber blew himself up at a security checkpoint near Pakistan’s military headquarters in Rawalpindi on Monday morning, killing at least 13 people, officials say.

At least 18 people, including women, were also injured in the blast, some of them seriously wounded.

“A suicide bomber riding a bicycle hit a joint police and military check-post at RA Bazaar close to the military headquarters,” police officer Haroon Joya told reporters. Five troops and two students are among 13 who have died in the blast, he added.

According to police, five to eight kilograms of explosives were used in the blast.

Rescue teams reached the scene and shifted the dead and wounded to a combined military hospital in Rawalpindi.

Banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Local media quoted TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid as saying that the blast was carried out to avenge the 2007 military raid at Red Mosque in Islamabad.

The attack comes a day after 20 troops were killed when a powerful bomb hit a military convoy at the cantonment area in the northwestern city of Bannu on Sunday.

Sunday’s deadly bombing prompted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to cancel his scheduled visit to Davos in Switzerland to attend the annual summit of World Economic Forum (WEF).

In a press statement, Prime Minister Sharif said: “The whole nation is united against terrorism. The sacrifices being rendered by law enforcement agencies and security forces will not go in vain,” he said.

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