‘Schoolboy’ bomber kills 32 army recruits in Mardan

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PESHAWAR – A suicide bomber killed at least 32 army recruits and injured over 30 inside the Punjab Regiment Center in Mardan on Thursday. The high-intensity explosion was heard across Mardan and its surrounding areas. According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the 19 to 20-year-old suicide bomber succeeded in entering the building in a school uniform and blew himself up when dozens of jawans were busy in routine morning parade.
Though the ISPR confirmed the death toll at 20 and 19 to be injured, Mardan Deputy Inspector General Police Abdullah Khan said the death toll had risen to 32. Khan told AFP that the bomber “was not a student at the school inside the regiment. He came from outside but was dressed like the other school boys”.
According to AFP, the Taliban claimed responsibility and threatened “bigger attacks” in coming days to avenge American drone strikes and Pakistani military operations targeting militants in the Tribal Areas. After the attack, soldiers in bulletproof jackets and helmets cordoned off the entire area around the Punjab Regiment Centre, deploying jeeps mounted with machine guns and preventing access to the site, an AFP reporter said.
Inputs from AFP also included in the news.