Double bombing kills 11 at Pakistani police station

A trio of suicide attackers, one of whom was a woman, set off two blasts outside a police station in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Oct. 16, killing 11 people.

CA Online and wire services

2009-10-17

PESHAWAR — A trio of suicide attackers, including a rare female bomber, set off two blasts outside a police station in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Oct. 16, killing 11 people, in the latest bloodshed in a wave of terror plaguing the country.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on the Taliban, who have been blamed for two weeks of attacks that have killed more than 150 people across the country and appear aimed at forcing the government to abandon a planned offensive into the militants' stronghold along the Afghan border.

The afternoon attack targeted a heavily fortified police station next to a mosque in the main city of Pakistan's Taliban-riddled Northwest Frontier province. A car filled with explosives drove to the main gate of the police station, as a motorcycle carrying a man and a woman pulled up behind it, Peshawar Police Chief Liaquat Ali Khan said.

The woman jumped off and ran toward a nearby housing complex where army officers live, while the man smashed the motorcycle into the car, which exploded into a huge fireball, he said. Police shot at the woman, who detonated explosives she was wearing.

The impact of the blast destroyed part of the police station and the mosque next to it, he said.

The blast killed 11 people, including three police officers, two women and two children, Khan said. Another 15 people were wounded, officials said.

Insurgents have worn military uniforms to bypass security to carry out their recent raids. But the use of a female suicide bomber is extremely rare here, and could signal a new tactic by the extremists.

"This was a well-coordinated Taliban operation supported by local groups," Umer Virk, head of the Lahore anti-terrorist police, told the Associated Press.

The Pakistani army has given no time frame for the expected offensive in South Waziristan. It has reportedly already sent two divisions totaling 28,000 men and blockaded the area.

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