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Asia-pacific

Suicide attack kills senior police officer in north-west Pakistan

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-04

The head of Pakistan's Frontier Constabulary and two other people were killed on Wednesday when a suicide bomber detonated himself near their vehicle in Peshawar, a city in the country's north-west, on the frontline of the Taliban insurgency.

AFP - A suicide attacker killed the chief of Pakistan's Frontier Constabulary and two other people in a bombing in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, officials said.

"The suicide attack targeted Sifwat Ghayoor and he has been martyred," said Bashir Bilour, senior minister in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"We are investigating whether the bomber was on foot or in a car."

The body of what appeared to be a teenage boy lay at the bomb site. His head and legs were severed, an AFP reporter said.

Police said two more people were killed and 11 others wounded.

Ghayoor was a highly regarded commander of the Frontier Constabularly, which assists other security force detachments in military operations against Pakistani Taliban militants in the northwest.

The target was also a former police chief of Peshawar, the northwestern capital that has been on the frontline of a Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked bombing campaign that has killed more than 3,574 people in the last three years.

The precise nature of how the attack was carried out remained unclear.

"It seems the attacker was on foot. He was 13 to 14 years old and he blew himself up near Sifwat Ghayoor's car, but we are still investigating it further," Shafqat Malik, bomb disposal chief in Peshawar, told AFP.

But one witness told Geo television that he saw the explosion after a car approached the vehicle in which Ghayoor had been present.

Two vehicles were seen engulfed in flames after the attack.

Wednesday's bombing comes with Pakistan struggling to provide relief to around 3.2 million people affected by the country's worst floods in living memory in the northwest and central Punjab province.

It was the first deadly suicide attack since July 26 when a bomber killed seven people as he targeted senior Pakistani officials mourning the murdered son of a northwestern cabinet minister.

Police blamed the Taliban for killing information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain's 28-year-old son Mian Rashid on July 24.

Coming so soon after the killing of Hussain's son, Wednesday's attack could indicate a new tactic of targeted assassinations by groups who have previously favoured mass casualty style bomb blasts.

Bombs and attacks blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have hit soldiers, government officials and civilians across nuclear-armed Pakistan since government troops besieged a radical mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.

Much of the violence has been concentrated in the northwest and border areas with Afghanistan, where nearly 150,000 US and NATO troops are battling to turn around a nine-year war against Taliban insurgents.

 

Date created : 2010-08-04

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