Suicide bombings kill over 20 people in Pakistan

April 5th, 2009 - 3:33 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 5 (IANS) More than 20 people, including nine paramilitary troopers, were killed in two sucide bombings in Pakistan Saturday, officials said.
At least six members of Pakistan’s paramilitary, the Frontier Corps (FC), were killed and four others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a check post in Islamabad when the soldiers were having dinner, Senior Superintendent of Police Tahir Alam said.

The blast occurred in the upmarket residential area of F-7/3 near the Jinnah Supermarket, nearly four kilometres from President Asif Zardari’s office.

Deputy Inspector General Bin Yamin told reporters at the blast site that at least six security personnel were killed and 11 were injured.

TV channels said the blast was followed by loud gun shots and there was an exchange of fire between security forces and militants. One report said some attackers had taken shelter in one of the houses of the F7 neighbourhood, one of Islamabad’s upscale areas.

A TV report said at least eight attackers were holed up in the area.

However, Alam denied any exchange of fire, saying the security men fired in the air to scare away any other attackers. He said no militant was holed up.

Alam told a TV channel that body parts of the suicide bomber were found at the site.

Alam said one attacker was arrested. “We have one suspect in our custody. His interrogation is on,” he said.

Separately, another suicide bombing Saturday on the outskirts of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, killed at least 17 people, including five children.

Over 40 people, including six Frontier Corps paramilitary soldiers, were also injured in the attack which targeted security officials at a check post in the town, the Online news agency repoted. One soldier died later in the hospital.

Security forces took retaliatory measures and have cordoned off the entire area. The Miranshah Bazaar was also closed, the report said.

President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the terrorist attacks and vowed that his government would root out terrorism.

“Such acts cannot deter the government’s determination to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” he said.

Violence in Pakistan has surged in recent months with a wave of attacks blamed on Islamist militants.

The latest attacks come five days after the March 30 terror assault on the Manawan police academy on Lahore’s outskirts when heavily armed militants held over 400 trainees hostage for over eight hours before Pakistani security forces recaptured the complex.

At least 18 people, including two civilians, eight policemen and eight militants, were killed and 95 injured in the terror attack owned up by Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Mehsud vowed in a telephone interview with reporters early this week to carry out an attack in Islamabad, as well as in the US, in retaliation for American missile strikes by Predator drone aircraft in the Pashtun ethnic belt of western Pakistan, near the Afghan border.

Last month, eight people, including policemen, were killed and several were injured when terrorists ambushed Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore.

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