Pakistan Militants who attacked a minority sect, killing 93 people in the country’s east, belonged to the Pakistani Taliban and were trained in a lawless border region where the U.S. wants Islamabad to mount an army operation, police said Saturday.
The revelation could help the U.S. persuade Pakistan that rooting out the various extremist groups in North Waziristan is in Islamabad’s own interest. Up to now, Pakistan has resisted, in part because it says its army is stretched thin in operations elsewhere.
Suspicion that the man accused of a failed bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square earlier this month may have received aid from the Pakistani Taliban has added to U.S. urgency about clearing North Waziristan.
Local TV channels have reported the Pakistani Taliban, or an affiliate, had claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks in Pakistan’s second-largest city.
Senior police officer Akram Naeem in Lahore said the interrogation of one of the arrested suspects revealed that the gunmen were involved with the Pakistani Taliban. The 17-year-old suspect told police the attackers had trained in the North Waziristan tribal region.