Pak Taliban attack US consulate convoy

Pak Taliban attack US consulate convoy

Police said a car bomb had been detonated by remote control as the convoy passed, killing one Pakistani. Twelve people were wounded.

US embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said two US nationals were among the wounded, with minor injuries. Police said the two were security guards.

The attack on the two-vehicle convoy took place on a main road in an area where many Western diplomats live and involved 50 kg of explosives, police said.

“There was an attack on a two-car convoy from the consulate in Peshawar. One car was hit. We are still investigating what actually happened,” said Rodriguez. Peshawar police chief Liaqat Ali said the blast had been caused by a car bomb detonated remotely.

“It was not a suicide bombing,” he told Reuters. It was the first attack on Westerners since bin Laden’s death on May 2. Peshawar has seen many operations by Taliban militants seeking to topple the US-backed Pakistani government and was home to bin Laden in the 1980s when Islamists were fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

The al-Qaeda and its ally, the Pakistani Taliban, have vowed to avenge the killing of bin Laden by US special forces and, the group said it would target the Pakistani government and its Western allies.

Nato targets

“The diplomatic staff of all Nato countries are our targets,” said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban spokesman, told Reuters via telephone from an undisclosed location.

“We will continue such attacks. Pakistan is our first target, and America is our second.” One of the consulate vehicles, which police said was armoured, was riddled with shrapnel. The blast forced it to slam into an electricity pole beside a pre-school.

Many Pakistanis are frustrated with the inability of security forces to subdue the Taliban. In a separate attack on Friday, an explosion killed five people and wounded four in the tribal region of Orakzai in the northwest, officials said.