Taliban Denies Involvement in Pakistan Bombings

Posted June 12th, 2011 at 6:05 pm (UTC-5)
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The Taliban on Sunday denied responsibility for twin bombings at a crowded market in the Pakistani city of Peshawar that killed at least 35 people and wounded more than 100 others.

A Taliban spokesman said “We do not target civilians and mosques. Our targets are security forces fighting with the United States.”

The attack, one of the deadliest in weeks, devastated the upscale Khyber Supermarket district. Police say 25 people have been detained for questioning in the attack, and that 50 people remained hospitalized from the blasts. Authorities also say their investigation shows both bombs were triggered by remote control.

The first blast was relatively small and drew police, rescue workers and onlookers to the site. Minutes later, a large explosion rocked the area, causing the casualties.

The bombings came hours after Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. CIA Director Leon Panetta visited Islamabad. Mr. Karzai called on Pakistan to eradicate militant safe havens from tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border, while Panetta discussed ways to strengthen future intelligence sharing.

In other violence, a group of about 100 armed militants reportedly kidnapped 25 coal miners from Darra Adamkhel area in Khyber tribal region Saturday.

Reports from the area say the miners were on their way to work when the militants, affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban , ambushed the men. They say seven miners and guards managed to escape, but 18 men were taken away. A search operation is under way.