Suicide bomber, 12, kills 31

Posted: February 15, 2011 in world

By NICK PARKER
Chief Foreign Correspondent

A 12-year-old boy in school uniform blew himself up in an horrific suicide bomb attack on a Pakistani army recruitment centre today, killing at least 31 cadets and injuring 42.
Police found the remains of the youngster among piles of mutilated corpses after the horror at Mardan in the strife-torn north west of the country.

Investigators said the lad was either brainwashed into becoming a martyr by evil controllers – or asked to walk into the secure compound and detonated by remote control.

A shocked military official said: “The boy appeared when cadets were busy in their morning training. He walked into the compound and exploded among them.”

The horrendous atrocity shocked hardened security forces steeled by years of bloody suicide attacks – and dashed claims that Pakistan’s Al Qaeda-linked Taliban militants were on the run.

Threat

Pakistani security forces had claimed the Taliban’s ability to strike had been hit hard by recent military operations along the border with Afghanistan.

But the brazen bombing sparked fears that fanatical fighters were regrouping after a lull in major attacks.

Senior police official Samad Khan said some of the wounded were in a critical condition in hospital.

All of those killed were young cadets except for one, who was identified as their drill instructor.

Khan said an examination of the body parts at the scene indicated the bomber was a boy.

Teenagers have often been used by the Taliban in suicide attacks, but rarely – if ever – as young as 12 or in school uniform.

Troops quickly threw a cordon around the camp, which was attacked by another suicide bomber who killed 35 soldiers in 2006.

Pakistan’s army has recently scored a string a military successes in the country’s wild north west close to the Afghan border.

The US encouraged the crackdown fearing the rise of the fanatical group could seriously destabilise the country and deliver its nuclear arsenal into the hands of islamic fanatics.
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3403621/Suicide-bomber-12-kills-31.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News

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