A suicide bomber linked to the Pakistani Taliban attacked soldiers during morning exercises at an army training camp in the northwest today, killing 31 troops and wounding 42 others. There were conflicting accounts about the identity of the bomber: An examination of the body parts at the scene indicated the bomber was a teenage boy, which is a common finding in suicide bombings in Pakistan, said police. The army also confirmed he was a teenager in a school uniform. But the Pakistani Taliban claimed he was a soldier at the camp in Mardan town who volunteered "to sacrifice his life for Islam."
"We accepted his offer and told him to target his fellow soldiers in Mardan," says a Taliban spokesman. Former army soldiers have been suspected in attacks in Pakistan, but a suicide bombing by an active duty soldier would be rare, if not unheard of. The bombing was one of the worst attacks on security forces in recent months. Pakistan also test-fired a cruise missile today, a show of strength on the same day it announced it would restart peace talks with India.
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