May 13, 2011: Bombing at military training centre in Pakistan

On May 13, 2011 98 people were killed by two TTP suicide bombs at a military training centre northwest Pakistan in revenge for the killing of AQ leader bin Laden.

CHARSADDA, PAKISTAN – We all like to commemorate the lives of those who have died before us: so do terrorists.

Do you know how ancient human burials are? By this I mean an effort to carefully place a body in a certain position, adorn it with objects that hold some meaning for those around, and, perhaps, revisit the interment site afterwards.

Well, it is old. VERY old. The first suspected deliberate burials go back 50,000 years! This shows that human culture had developed to the point where the loss of a loved one meant something (and perhaps also was indicative of some kind of belief in the supernatural). No other animal has this level of commemoration (elephants and killer whales notwithstanding).

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today… (Photo: aacool on Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

It is one thing to treasure the memory of a lost friend or family member: it is quite another to seek revenge for their death.

On this day in 2011

98 people were killed when two suicide bombs exploded at a military training centre in the Charsadda District of northwest Pakistan. Another 140 others were injured in the explosions which occurred while cadets were getting into buses for a ten-day leave after a training course.

We had been very happy. I was loading my bag into the bus when the blast took place. I was seriously injured but wasn’t knocked out. I crawled towards a safe place and then heard another huge blast. Everybody was lying on the ground and crying. I saw people lying in blood and dying. There were dead bodies and body parts. I can’t put it into words.


The Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying “This was the first revenge for Osama’s martyrdom. Wait for bigger attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden had been killed by US special forces in Abbotabad a week earlier. All this to show that the elimination of a terrorist of UBL’s stature does not mean less terrorism: quite the contrary.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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