Pak Taliban claims responsibility for attack

Islamabad: Tehreek-e-Taliban has claimed responsibility for the brazen attack on the Pakistan Army's Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Saturday, which left four of its militants and eight soldiers dead, and demanded a halt in ongoing military campaign in the NWFP.

The Amjad Farooqi group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella grouping claimed that it was behind the audacious attack and demanded that former President Pervez Musharraf be put on trial.

The group took the responsibility in a telephone call made to Geo News. They also asked for closure of all Western NGOs and expulsion of US private security firm Blackwater.

The Taliban's hand in the frontal assault on the Pakistan Army Headquarters comes amid reports that the security forces are on the brink of launching a major attack on its stronghold of South Waziristan.

Earlier in the week, Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq had warned the military of a "harsh response" if it launched an offensive in Waziristan.

"Pakistani forces will pay a heavy price for any adventure," Taliban threatened.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has declared that the Army, which has encircled Waziristan with troops and armours would march into the area close to Afghan border in the next few days.

"I believe we have no option except to take action in South Waziristan and North Waziristan," Malik said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the attack in Rawalpindi, which is close to Islamabad.

Security has been tightened across the country, especially in the federal capital, and for dignitaries like President, Prime Minister and Federal ministers.

Bureau Report