Pakistani Taliban claim revenge attack

Laura Rozen

In the first claimed revenge attack for Osama bin Laden's death, Pakistan's Taliban militants today killed 80 paramilitary recruits in the country's Northwest frontier territory.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Ahsanullah Ahsan, called the Associated Press on Friday to say the twin explosions were a revenge attack for the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2. He also vowed there would be further attacks.

You can see the AP's report on the blast in the video, posted to YouTube, below:

Today's attack occurred in Charsadda, the town where the man described as bin Laden's courier told residents of Abbottabad he was originally from. The courier--who had the al Qaeda nom de guerre Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti but was known in Abottabad as Arshad Khan--and his brother were killed in the U.S. raid.

The Pakistani Taliban, with close ties to al Qaeda, oppose the Pakistani government's alliance with the United States.

While the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban have numerous ties and shared Pashtun ethnicity, a major distinction between them is that the Pakistani group has carried out deadly attacks against Pakistani military and state targets. The Afghan Taliban, which the U.S. believes receives support from elements of the Pakistani security services, generally directs its militancy against U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan supports such militant proxies in pursuit of "strategic depth"--to try to control neighboring Afghanistan and to counter perceived Indian influence in the region, analysts say.