Taliban kills 20 people as even al-Qaida criticises bloodlust

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Twenty people were killed in a suicide bombing in a Pakistani market near the Afghan border.

The attack came a day after the US released letters seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound which criticised the Pakistani fanatics for killing too many civilians.

Five of the dead in the Bajur tribal area were local members of the security forces. The others were passers-by. At least 40 other people were injured.

The suicide bomb was detonated near the market in the town of Khar as locals were headed to work or taking their children to school. The dead included a woman and several schoolchildren.

Bizarrely a Taliban spokesman who later claimed responsibility for the attack said it was in revenge for “the killing of our people”. However, the Taliban has killed and wounded thousands of people since 2009, many of them civilians in markets or mosques.

Letters seized from bin-Laden’s compound show even al-Qaida leaders are appalled. A letter to Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in December 2010 criticised the group for killing so many innocent Muslims.