Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Pakistan car bombs kill 16 people

Two car bombs killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens in separate attacks in north-west Pakistan today, just days after the Taliban warned more suicide strikes were coming if the military pressed forward with an army offensive.

A car bomb detonated outside a bank affiliated with the army in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province, killing at least six people and wounding dozens more, police official Shaukat Khan said.

A reporter at the scene saw vehicles overturned by the blast, buildings gutted and glass scattered everywhere.

A suicide blast hit a police station in the province's Bannu district earlier today, killing at least six people and wounding nearly 70 others, police said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack.

Pakistan's mountainous, lawless north-west region along the Afghan border - where the government holds little control - is a favoured area for insurgents to plan attacks on US and Nato troops in Afghanistan, as well as on Pakistani security forces and government workers.

The latest strikes came two days after the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan said it was ready to stage more suicide attacks in the region after it was ousted from the Swat Valley in July by an army offensive.

Qari Hussain Mehsud - known for training Taliban suicide bombers - warned of more attacks in an AP interview at a secret location in North Waziristan on Thursday, just hours before US missiles hit the area and killed 12 people.

"We have enough suicide bombers and they are asking me to let them sacrifice their lives in the name of Islam, but we will send suicide bombers only if the government acts against us," he said.

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