55 Pakistanis killed in violence in Khyber
By BILL ROGGIO
At least 55 Pakistanis were killed in the contested tribal agency of Khyber today in a suicide bombing outside a mosque and an ambush on a military outpost. The outburst of violence takes place just two weeks after Khyber’s political agent said military operations have “broken the back” of terrorists operating in the tribal agency.
In the first attack, the Lashkar-e-Islam, a radical, Taliban-like group that operates in Khyber, killed 10 Pakistani soldiers after ambushing a military checkpoint in Khyber’s Tirah Valley. Pakistani troops manning the outpost returned fire and claimed to have killed 23 Lashkar-e-Islam fighters.
In the second attack, a Taliban suicide bomber detonated his vest outside a mosque in the Tirah Valley known to be frequented by members of the Lashkar-e-Islam. Twenty-two people were reported killed. The Lashkar-e-Islam claimed that only six of their fighters were killed in the attack.
The Taliban claimed credit for the suicide attack, and said it was carried out to avenge the deaths of several Taliban fighters at the hands of the Lashkar-e-Islam last month,according to the BBC.
Today’s attacks cap a week of violence in Khyber, which included the killing of two women and a child in an IED attack on Feb. 29, and a clash on Feb. 24 that resulted in the deaths of seven Lashkar-e-Islam fighters and three Pakistani soldiers.
read more at www.longwarjournal.org