Hague condemns Bin Laden revenge attack

The killing of Bin Laden 12 weeks ago has prompted fears of a retaliatory campaign
The killing of Bin Laden 12 weeks ago has prompted fears of a retaliatory campaign

By Ian Dunt

The foreign secretary has condemned a revenge attack in Pakistan prompted by the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Two suicide bombers targeted a training centre in north-west Pakistan, killed over 80 people in what some analysts fear might be the start of a tit-for-tat conflict prompted by the Bin Laden's death 12 days ago.

"These attacks were cowardly and indiscriminate, killing many innocent bystanders and targeting those who serve to protect Pakistan," William Hague said.

"They prove once again that such extremist groups have no regard for the value of human life.

"I offer my sincere condolences, in particular to the families of those whose lives were lost and to those who were injured.

"The UK is committed to standing with Pakistan in the fight against violent extremism and we will continue to work with Pakistan to tackle this shared threat."

European governments were quick to issue statements of solidarity with Pakistan, whose relations with the West have become increasingly strained since the discovery of Bin Laden in the country.

"This is the retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden. Pakistani and US forces should be ready for more attacks," a Taliban spokesman told CNN.

The attack came as young recruits boarded buses at the military academy at the end of a two-month training programme.

"There was a big blast," a fruit seller told the Associated Press.

"I saw smoke, blood and body pieces all around."

London and Washington have been preparing for heightened terrorist activity in the wake of Bin Laden's death, but the attack proves that the government of Pakistan - already trying to put out diplomatic fires with the West - will now also have to prepare for a retaliatory campaign in its own borders.


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