A suicide attacker in a vehicle detonated a bomb at an army canteen in north-western Pakistan today, killing at least 15 soldiers and wounding 11 others, officials said.
The bomber rammed into the canteen in Ghazi Tarbela, an army facility about 60 miles south of the capital, Islamabad, according to two security officials.
Maj Gen Waheed Arshad, the spokesman for Pakistan’s army, said that 15 soldiers were killed and 11 wounded, some seriously, but he would not confirm what caused the blast.
“It will be only clear when the initial investigations would be completed,” he told Pakistan’s Geo TV network.
The two security officials said victims belonged to the army’s Karar commando group, which has participated in counterterrorism operations against Islamic militants in various parts of the country.
Troops from the group participated in the army raid against pro-Taliban militants in Islamabad’s Red Mosque in July that left over 100 dead and triggered a spate of reprisal attacks against security forces, Geo reported.
The blast is the latest in a series of attacks to target Pakistan’s army.
Two blasts on September 4 killed 25 people and wounded more than 60, many on a Defence Ministry bus, in Rawalpindi, where the army has its headquarters.
Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in its war on terror, and it has deployed about 90,000 troops in the country’s tribal regions near Afghanistan to flush out remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaida.