(NSI News Source Info) MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan - June 27, 2009: Two soldiers were killed and at least three others injured in a suicide bombing in Muzaffarabad on Friday. Pakistan's army soldiers rush to a spot of a suicide attack in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Kashmir, Friday, June 26, 2009. A suicide bomber blew himself up early Friday near an army vehicle, killing at least two soldiers in the first such assault in Pakistan's part of divided Kashmir, the military said. Reports on Saturday said the suicide bomber responsible for the attack has been identified as one Abid. Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Yaqub Khan said the suicide bomber belonged to Waziristan. ‘The suicide bomber has been identified as Abid. He belonged to the Taliban in Waziristan,’ Raja Kafeel, a spokesman for the AJK prime minister told AFP. Police said they were investigating the attack. ‘We are investigating how a suicide bomber managed to enter in the sensitive military area,’ senior police official Raja Ilyas told AFP. Earlier, the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the first suicide attack in Azad Kashmir. The early morning blast in the army barracks in Shaukat Lines caught security personnel unawares, although ‘they had been on alert for four months’, a police official said. According to witnesses, a man in his twenties walked through a ground used by army personnel for physical training and local youths as a playground and entered the barracks of non-commissioned army men at about 06:30 a.m. ‘The bomber was intercepted by a soldier whom he tried to engage in a conversation presumably to attract other soldiers around for causing maximum casualties’ and then blew himself up, official sources said. A soldier was killed on the spot and four others were injured and taken to the Combined Military Hospital where one of them died. An army pick-up parked a few yards away overturned and another vehicle was damaged. The blast was heard in most parts of the town. An intelligence official said the ground was splattered with blood and limbs. He said four legs and other limbs had been found in the ground and under the overturned vehicle which indicated that more than one bomber might have been involved in the attack. Inspector General of Police Javed Iqbal and other senior officers reached the site shortly after the blast and discussed matters related to investigation with military officers who were later joined by the Murree-based general officer commanding of the 12-Division. The junior section of the Army Public School, several other educational institutions and the 5-AK Brigade headquarters are around the place where the blast took place. Several parents were heard voicing concern about the security of their children in the area. AJK Social Welfare Minister Noreen Arif said: ‘We ought to devise a comprehensive plan to ensure security of our people and combat terrorism.’ A police officer said the army installation had probably been attacked to give a message to the authorities that militants could expand their area of operation and hit security forces anywhere, including Azad Kashmir. The barracks fall under the 5-AK Brigade of the Azad Kashmir (AK) Regiment which is reportedly taking part in the operation against militants in Swat and adjoining areas. In a late-night crackdown in various parts of the AJK capital, police arrested more than five dozen Afghan nationals and people belonging to the Frontier province who lacked identification documents. A top administration official in Muzaffarabad, Chaudhry Imtiaz, said police had arrested about 200 people for questioning, adding that security had been beefed up in different parts of AJK. Agencies add: A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack. Hakimullah Mehsud, a deputy to TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud, said the attack had been launched to prove that he had not been weakened by recent strikes on his suspected hideouts. ‘We claim responsibility for this attack. This was done in revenge for the Waziristan operation and air strikes,’ Hakimullah told AFP by telephone from an unknown location. ‘We warn the government to stop the operation and air strikes in Waziristan otherwise we will continue such attacks all over Pakistan,’ he said. The ISPR confirmed that two soldiers had died and three others had been injured in the suicide attack on an army vehicle.
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