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Asia-pacific

Near-simultaneous attacks target police stations in Lahore, Kohat

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-10-15

Gunmen attacked at least two police offices in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Thursday, city officials said. Earlier, a suicide car bomb targeted a police station in the northwestern town of Kohat.

Gunmen stormed three police buildings in Pakistan's cultural hub of Lahore Thursday while a suicide car bomber hit another police station in the northwest town of Kohat, leaving at least 13 people dead.
   
Five people were killed including three police officers in near-simultaneous strikes in the eastern city of Lahore, police said.

"Different groups of attackers have attacked and tried to enter two police training centres in Lahore. We now have three near-simultaneous attacks against police facilities," Lahore police official Kamran Ahmad told AFP.
   
Another police official, Mohammad Yasin, said that four to five men had tried to storm the office of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
   
"Initial reports say two of them were shot dead," he said.

   
"However, two or three managed to enter the building where FIA and other employees were working," Yasin said.
   
In the northwest town of Kohat near Peshawar, district police chief Dilawar Bangash said eight people were killed in what he called a "suicide attack".
   
"The bomber ploughed his car into the outer wall of the police station" in Kohat, he told AFP, adding that the building was badly damaged.
   
Eight people have died, including civilians and children, and the toll may go up, Kohat police official Fazle Naeem reported.
   
Rescue work was under way and there were fears that some people may be trapped under the debris, he added.
   
At least 137 people have been killed in the past 11 days in a wave of militant attacks ahead of an expected army offensive against militant factions in the country's northwestern provinces.
   
At least 52 civilians were killed on Friday when a suicide bomber rammed his car into a market in Peshawar.
   
The following day, Taliban-linked gunmen staged an audacious raid on army headquarters near Islamabad with 22 people killed in a day-long siege that also saw 39 hostages freed by commando troops.
   
After the militants' brazen headquarters assault, speculation has intensified that the military is preparing to go into the insurgent hotbed of South Waziristan with tens of thousands of residents fleeing their homes.
   
Earlier Thursday, a US drone missile attack on a suspected militant hideout in remote North Waziristan killed at least four people, security officials said.
   
The pre-dawn strike targeted the suspected militant compound in Dandey Darpa Khel near the Afghan border, a security official said.

Date created : 2009-10-15

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