UN chief slams deadly attack at military training center in Pakistan

Xinhua, May 14, 2011

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Friday condemned an attack at a military training center in northwest Pakistan, which reportedly killed more than 80 people and injured many others, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here.

"The secretary-general condemns today's attack at a military training center in the northwest of Pakistan," Nesirky said at a daily news briefing.

Local police said that the death toll in a pair of suicide bombing attacks outside the center of the Frontier Constabulary in northwest Pakistan has risen to 80, reports said. The training center is located in the town of Shabqadar, 35 km from Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province.

The Taliban militant group said that the deadly attacks were the first to avenge the May 2 killing of al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces in the Pakistani city of Abbotabad.

"The United Nations stands by Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism, which continues to claim the lives of so many of its citizens," Nesirky quoted Ban as saying.

Senior Provincial Minister Bashir Bilour confirmed that 80 people, mostly security men, were killed and around 115 others were injured.

Some 69 military recruits were killed at a time when they had completed one-year training and were ready to assume duties including anti-terror mission, reports said. They were about to go home on a 10-day leave.

"The secretary-general extends his deepest condolences to the government and people of Pakistan and the families of the victims, " Nesirky said.

This was the first major attack in Pakistan since bin Laden was killed in a U.S. raid. It was also the deadliest since November last year, when a suicide bomber killed nearly 70 people at a mosque at Darra Adam Khel tribal region in the northwest part of Pakistan.