Taliban claim responsibility for slaying cleric, recent attacks
By JERUSALEM POST STAFFPublished: JUNE 13, 2009 08:19
The Taliban claimed responsibility Saturday for recent suicide attacks in Pakistan, including the assassination of a leading moderate cleric and the bombing of a Peshawar hotel frequented by foreigners.
Thousands of people were expected to gather Saturday for the funeral of Sarfraz Naeemi, whose death in a blast at his seminary in Lahore triggered a wave of anger and revulsion toward militants in the country's cultural capital.
Police said the bombing was a targeted assassination of the cleric, who recently had condemned suicide attacks as un-Islamic, denounced the Taliban as murderers and "a stigma on Islam."
Taliban commander Saeed Hafiz claimed responsibility for the blasts at the seminary, hotel and in Noshehra on behalf of Tehrik-i-Taliban, the group headed by Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, local media reported.
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