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The twin bombings that killed 80 paramilitary recruits in Pakistan's northwest could deepen anti-U.S. sentiments in the country.


61592042 - U.S.-Pakistani relations may suffer after brutal suicide attack - Asia | Middle East
Coffins are taken to a hospital in Peshawar for victims of the suicide attack at a Frontier
Constabulary training center in Shabqadr in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province's Mohmad district.
(Arshad Arbab, EPA / May 14, 2011)



By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
May 13, 2011, 2:45 p.m.


Reporting from Peshawar, Pakistan—Twin suicide bombings Friday that killed at least 80 paramilitary recruits in northwest Pakistan, in an attack that Taliban militants said was to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. commandos, could trigger new doubts among Pakistanis about the value of Islamabad's already rocky relationship with Washington.

The bombers targeted Frontier Constabulary recruits who had just completed six months of training and were boarding vans outside the training center's main gate to go on a 10-day leave, police and survivors said. The base is located in Shabqadar, a town near the edge of Mohmand, a tribal area in the northwest where Pakistani troops have struggled for years to rein in Pakistani Taliban militants.

The attack is Pakistan's deadliest yet this year, and the first major terrorist strike in the country since Bin Laden's killing.

Pakistanis have grown increasingly worried that they will bear the brunt of retaliatory attacks by militants angered by the May 2 killing of the Al Qaeda leader. U.S. Navy SEALs killed Bin Laden at the compound in the garrison city of Abbottabad where he had hidden for five years. Washington's decision to carry out the mission without Islamabad's knowledge or authorization angered many Pakistanis who saw the raid as a gross violation of their country's sovereignty.

Reacting to news of the suicide bombings, Bashir Bilour, a senior minister for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, questioned whether, despite the billions of dollars that Pakistan receives from Washington in civilian and military aid, the country was paying too heavy a price for its role as a U.S. ally.

"I don't care if someone is giving us money; we are not a purchasable commodity," Bilour told reporters in Peshawar. "We cannot be bought. We can live in hunger, but we won't compromise our national interests."

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was the first of a wave of planned strikes meant to avenge Bin Laden's killing, according to news agencies and Pakistani news media. The Pakistani Taliban, the country's homegrown insurgency, is closely allied with Al Qaeda and is one of several militant groups that have provided the terrorist network sanctuary in the volatile tribal region along the border with Afghanistan.


More at:  http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pakistan-bombing-20110514,0,3903546.story

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