2011 Charsadda bombing
|2011 Charsadda bombing|
The location of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan
|Location||Charsadda District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan|
|Date||13 May 2011|
A double bombing occurred on 13 May 2011 in Shabqadar Fort in Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. 98 people were killed when two suicide bombs exploded in the Frontier Constabulary training center. At least 140 others were injured. The explosions occurred while cadets were getting into buses for a ten-day leave after a training course. It was the deadliest attack against Pakistani security forces this year to date.
It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since the death of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden; the death of bin Laden had led Ahmed Akhtar to speculate that Pakistan would receive retaliatory acts of violence for its supposed participation in the al-Qaeda leader's death. The Frontier constabulary is a paramilitary force of about 70,000 men who provide security to foreign embassies in major cities and man checkpoints in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It was established in the 1800s and is run by the Pakistani police. For men of many poor families joining the constabulary is a coveted ambition.
The bomber was outside the training academy when he exploded his car at about 6 am local time. Most of those killed were men waiting to go home after completing 6 months of training. Mohammad Sardar, who was wounded in the head and admitted to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, said: "There are two occasions in one’s life to celebrate: wedding and going home on vacations at the end of six months of training. So we were all happy, celebrating the occasion, with bedrolls on our heads, thinking of home, when the first explosion occurred, followed by a second."
The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan officially claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying the attack was in revenge for bin Laden's death. "This was the first revenge for Osama’s martyrdom. Wait for bigger attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan." However, some local officials doubted the attack was carried out in revenge for bin Laden, saying the attack may have possibly been conducted by a splinter group of the Taliban as a reaction to the Pakistani Army's latest assault against Taliban militants in the Mohmand region along Afghanistan.
In financial markets, the yen rose following the attack on concern of increased instability and as the yen is generally considered a stable refuge.
Within Pakistan, the attack was condemned by the President, Prime Minister and other political figures. MQM chief Altaf Hussain expressed sorrow and regret over the loss of lives. The Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah also expressed his sympathy.
In a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his condolences over the attack, assured his support to Pakistan and said that the United Kingdom knew well Islamabad was facing political turmoil, which was heavily taking a toll on its men and material.
Gillani stated: "Pakistan is committed to working with the rest of the world to eradicate terrorism. It will also take care of its national interests."
The United States embassy in Pakistan condemned the attack. "We extend our condolences to the Pakistan Armed Forces, and families and friends of the victims. Terrorists have shown time and again that they are the true enemy of the people and government of Pakistan," a statement from the embassy said.
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- Mussadaq, Maha (16 May 2011). "Sovereignty uppermost, Gilani tells Cameron". Express Tribune. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- US flays Charsadda attack