Taliban Attacks in Pakistan, 80 Killed

The retaliation to the death of Osama bin Laden that some officials have feared has begun.

The Pakistani Taliban launched suicide attacks on Friday, killing at least 80 people in a strike that the militant group’s spokesman described as a revenge for bin Laden’s “martyrdom.” At least two suicide bombers struck shortly after dawn as recruits were preparing to leave the Frontier Constabulary academy in the town of Charsadda. A Reuters report said at least 65 of the confirmed dead were paramilitary recruits. The bombing wounded at least 60 others.

“It’s the first revenge for the martyrdom of … bin Laden. There will be more,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan was quoted as saying in a telephone interview. The bombing was the first major one since bin Laden, the longtime leader of the Taliban-linked al-Qaeda, was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs on May 2 in the town of Abbottabad in an operation that was kept secret even from the Pakistani government.