Pakistani police officials believe the suicide bombing that killed dozens of paramilitary cadets was probably retaliation for the army’s campaign in the tribal areas along the border of Afghanistan rather than vengeance for the death of Osama bin Laden.
Soon after the attack, which took place in the town of Charsadda, The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility and specifically stated it was to avenge Bin Laden’s killing. About 82 cadets died and 150m were wounded – but these numbers are likely to rise.
However, The New York Times reported that Pakistan police officials said that the Pakistan Taliban has frequently claimed credit for acts of violence that they did not commit nor initiate.
The report noted that Pakistan officials doubt the bombing was related to the commando raid on bin Laden’s compound.
Rather, the attack might have been perpetrated by an offshoot of Pakistan Taliban who have battled the army in the Mohmand tribal areas for two years at a heavy cost.
According to the Times. Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao, a local official, said the training facility that was attacked in the bombing has been a popular target in the past.
“Basically, the threat is from Mohmand… where militants still have pockets and are active,” he said.
“I feel that this attack is not in retaliation to the Abbottabad incident. Basically, in the last one and a half months, a new military operation has been started in Mohmand as the army is going against militants. So this attack can be seen as a retaliation to the Mohmand operation.”
Bashir Bilour, a senior minister in the region, government, told reporters: “We don’t believe in directly blaming any country without any proof,” he said.