September 23, 2014
ISLAMABAD (AP) - The Taliban is claiming responsibility for recent suicide attacks in Pakistan, including the assassination of a leading moderate cleric.
Thousands of people are expected to gather Saturday for the funeral of the cleric Sarfraz Naeemi. His death in a blast at a seminary in Lahore has triggered a wave of anger toward militants in the country's cultural capital.
Police are calling the bombing a targeted assassination. The cleric recently had condemned suicide attacks as un-Islamic and denounced the Taliban as murderers and "a stigma on Islam." He also threw his support behind the military operation against the Taliban in the Swat Valley region.
Minutes after the seminary bombing, a pickup truck loaded with explosives rammed into the wall of a mosque used by troops in a northwestern city (Noshehra), killing at least four and wounding 100.
There have been five suicide bombings in the past eight days.
President Asif Ali Zardari is vowing to continue fighting the Taliban "until the end."
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.