Taliban claim responsibility for bombing that killed 12 Shia Muslims in Pakistan

July 18, 2012
PARACHINAR -- A faction of the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a bomb attack in northwest Pakistan that killed 12 people, a spokesman for the group said.
 
The roadside bomb exploded next to a passenger vehicle in the Sipaye area of the Orakzai tribal region, killing a dozen people in a sectarian attack targeting the Shia community, Reuters reported. 
 
"We targeted them because they were Shias, and they are enemies of Islam," Mohammed Afridi, spokesman for the Darra Adam Khel faction of the Pakistan Taliban told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
 
Sunni Muslim militants loyal to al-Qaeda and the Taliban have carried out high-profile attacks on members of Pakistan's Shia minority in the past.
 
"This appears to be part of a series of attacks by militants against one particular sect," said Khushal Khan, a senior government official in Orakzai.
 
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001 when Pakistan joined an alliance with the United States in the so-called war against terrorism. 
 
Since late 2009, there has been a surge in militant attacks in Pakistan and thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.