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Archive for Saturday, December 5, 2009

Massacre at mosque shows Taliban strength

December 5, 2009

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— A Taliban suicide squad targeted Pakistani military officers and their families praying at a mosque Friday close to army headquarters in a gruesome display of the militants’ ability to strike at the center of power in this U.S.-allied, nuclear-armed nation.

The barrage of bombs and bullets left 37 people dead, including seven senior officers and 17 children.

The deaths of so many top brass inside a heavily fortified area a few miles from the capital was a major coup for the Pakistani insurgents, who are under pressure as the army pushes an offensive against their stronghold of South Waziristan along the Afghan border.

Friday’s carnage also dramatized the risks Pakistan faces if it steps up its support for the United States in the war against Islamic extremists on its side of the border with Afghanistan.

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