Suicide attacks kill 16 in Pakistan

Suicide attacks kill 16 in Pakistan

Security officials gather at the site of bomb blast in Peshawar on Saturday. AP

Terrorists used explosive laden vehicles first to hit a police station near Bannu town, killing six people and injuring 60 others, mostly policemen, local media reports quoted police as saying.

Hours later, in another brazen attack militants blew up bomb filled vehicle on the main road leading to Peshawar's military cantonment, destroying a seven-storey building on the Sadar Bazar area, housing several banks, killing another 10 people and wounding 70 others, police said.

Police fear that the toll may rise higher as lot of people remained buried under the debris. The Peshawar blast also damaged nearby buildings and blew up cars in the area.

The suicide bomb attacks came as US drones struck Pakistan's lawless tribal belt bordering Afghanistan four times this month, killing more than 40 Talibans and foreign militants including dreaded terrorist Illyas Kashmiri.

"Six men were killed and 25 injured," senior police officials told newsmen at the scene of the attack, where the impact of the blast gutted cars and cracked the windows of buildings.

TV footage showed volunteers hauling the wounded on to the back of trucks as police cleared the area to make room for ambulances. "It was a huge bomb blast, many bank officials are trapped inside the bank," eye-witnesses were quoted by TV channels.

Pakistan's umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) organisation claimed responsibility and threatened to unleash bigger attacks on government targets to avenge the killing of their leader Baitullah Mehsud in a US drone attack.

Like the area hit in Peshawar, Bannu is also a famous garrison town. Police and soldiers remain the main target of the Taliban.

In the Bannu police station attack, officials said that the dead included three policemen and two detainees. Among the injured, most of them were policemen, including officers.

The new attacks by Taliban, officials say, are a sign that the militants retain the capacity to hit back even as a military campaign against them is in progress in the restive region.
The organisation's commander in-charge of training suicide bombers Qari Hussain Mehsud told that Taliban would stage more suicide attacks.

"We have broken the silence as the government did not understand the pause in attacks. And from now on there will be an increase in number of suicide bombings," Mehsud said.

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