TTP bombing kills 11 troops in Swat Valley

Suicide explosion kills 11 soldiers in NW Pakistan

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Sunday attended the joint funeral prayer of 11 soldiers who lost their lives in Swat attack on Saturday. The death toll may further increase as several injured were in a critical condition, health officials said.

The suicide bomber struck Saturday evening while the soldiers were playing volleyball after duty.

Although peace has returned to the valley after a military operation in 2009, security had been a primary concern in the region.

The Afghanistan-based Pakistani Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the paper said.

The security forces had cordoned off the area after the attack and had closed the main road for traffic. The injured were later shifted by rescue officials to a hospital in Saidu Sharif area of Swat, according to government sources.

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In a statement sent to media, the group said a lone suicide bomber carried out the attack to avenge the killing and arrests of fellow militants. "Wait for more (attacks) to follow".

Earlier in December, security forces conducted an intelligence-based operation in Swat's Jahan Abad area and killed two wanted terrorists.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the military would continue its war against the Taliban.

The prime minister said that no cowardly attack can deter Pakistan in pursuing struggle against the menace of terrorism to its logical conclusion.

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