Pakistan Taliban use husband, wife suicide bombers
The Pakistani Taliban today said the group had sent a husband and wife suicide squad to carry out an attack on a police station in northwestern Pakistan that killed 10 people, a rare instance of militants using a woman as a bomber.
The pair entered the police station in Dera Ismail Khan yesterday and said they were there to lodge a complaint, said Imtiaz Shah, a senior police official.
Once inside, the two attacked with grenades and machine guns, triggering a five-hour standoff with police. Both attackers, including the woman wearing an all-covering robe known as a burqa, eventually blew themselves up.
They killed eight police officers and two civilians, said Mohammad Hussain, another police official.
"This shows how much we hate Pakistani security institutions," Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Ahsan claimed it was the first time the militant group had used a female suicide bomber.
However, Pakistani officials said a female suicide bomber wearing a burqa attacked a World Food Programme food distribution centre in northwestern Pakistan late last year, killing 45 people.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack in Khar, the main city in the Bajur tribal area, but never claimed it was carried out by a female bomber. Still that was believed to be the group's first attack by a female suicide bomber.
Male suicide bombers often don the burqa as a disguise. In 2007, officials initially claimed Pakistan's first female suicide bomber had killed 14 people in the northwest town of Bannu. But the attacker was later identified as a man.
Islamic militants in Iraq have used female suicide bombers several times because women in their all-covering robes are seen as able to pass more easily through security.
Male security officers are often hesitant to search women.