Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Pakistani Taliban attack on convoy kills 20 soldiers

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-19

A bomb attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban killed 20 soldiers and wounded more than 30 after it tore through a military convoy in Pakistan's restive northwest tribal region on Sunday, officials said.

The attack happened in the city of Bannu near the North Waziristan tribal region that is a known stronghold of militants linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda.

"A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device caused the blast," a senior military official told AFP, adding that the exact circumstances of the attack were unclear.

"The explosion took place in one of the vehicles of the convoy, killing 20 soldiers and wounding more than 30," he said on condition of anonymity.

The official said the convoy was about to leave for the town of Razmak when the blast hit one of the civilian vehicles hired to move the troops.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed his group was responsible for the deaths.

"It was part of our fight against a secular system," he told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

"We will carry out more such attacks in future," he said.

Taliban insurgents have led a bloody campaign against the Pakistani state in recent years, carrying out hundreds of attacks on security forces and government targets, mainly in the northwest tribal region.

'Scorched metal'

An eyewitness told AFP by telephone that all that was left of the vehicle hit by the bomb was scorched metal.

"I collected human remains including hands and legs from the site after the attack," he said. "... I also helped rescue workers in moving injured people to ambulances."

Body parts and soldiers' personal belongings littered the scene.

Bannu has been the scene of several past attacks on security forces.

Pakistani troops have for years been battling homegrown insurgents in the northwestern tribal belt, which Washington considers the main hub of the Taliban and al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taliban, other militant affiliates and al Qaeda-linked networks all have strongholds in the country's northwest, particularly in the semi-autonomous tribal areas on the Afghan border.

Pakistan, which joined the US-led "war on terror" in 2001, has been hit by a local Taliban-led insurgency concentrated largely in the northwest since July 2007.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in Pakistan since 2001 by militants who oppose Islamabad's alliance with the United States.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-01-19

  • PAKISTAN

    Pakistani teen hailed as hero for stopping suicide bomber

    Read more

  • PAKISTAN - USA

    US al Qaeda hostage pleads for Obama’s help

    Read more

  • PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Taliban pick hardliner Fazlullah as chief

    Read more

COMMENT(S)