Blasts target Pakistan forces

6 04 2009
Blasts target Pakistan forces

Volunteers helped take those injured in a suicide
attack in Islamabad to safety [AFP]

At least 15 people have been killed in two separate suicide attacks targeting security forces in Pakistan.

A suicide attack in Islamabad on Saturday killed at least eight people, while an earlier car bomb exploded in North Waziristan, killing seven people, including two children, officials said.

The Islamabad attack targeted a police checkpoint in the capital, the second such attack in the capital in less than two weeks.

Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Islamabad, said paramilitary forces opened fire after the attack, which occurred in an upmarket residential area close to some of the capital’s most prestigious addresses.

The AFP news agency reported Aziz-ur-Rehman, a witness, as saying: “After the blast, there was intermittent firing but since it was dark I was unable to know who was firing.”

‘Wave of terrorism’

The bomber was believed to have targeted members of the Frontier Constabulary, part of Pakistan’s paramilitary force, used to protect diplomatic missions and the homes of prominent figures.

Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s interior minister, told reporters that Pakistan’s security forces were being targeted by a “new wave of terrorism”.

Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s president, and Yousuf Raza Gilani, the prime minister, condemned the attack.

The second attack occurred in Miranshah, the main town in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous North Waziristan tribal area.

“At least seven civilians, including two children, embraced martyrdom in a suicide attack. Thirty-nine others were injured, including six security forces,” the AFP news agency quoted an unnamed security official as saying.

Saturday’s bombings were the latest in a wave of attacks that have killed more than 1,700 people across the country since government forces battled with fighters holed up in Islamabad’s Red mosque in July 2007.

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