Suicide, remote-controlled bombings kill 24 in Pakistan (Third Lead)

April 18th, 2009 - 10:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 18 (DPA) Two separate bombings Saturday killed at least 24 people, including 18 soldiers, in Pakistan’s restive northwestern region, police officials and media reports said.
A suicide car bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a security wall around an army post when a military convoy was passing by in Doaba town in the restive Hangu district in North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

“It was a suicide bombing. The deaths of 18 security personnel and two civilians have been confirmed,” said Deputy Superintendent Police Farid Khan. “Fifteen more people are injured. Among them are five policemen,” he added.

The powerful blast damaged 10 vehicles of the army convoy and one police van parked near the post.

The security forces cordoned off the area and the injured were moved to a local military hospital. Some of the victims were reported in critical condition.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban militants from the adjoining lawless tribal region have carried out dozens of attacks on security personnel, civilians and political leaders over the last two years.

Pakistan’s interior ministry told the lower house of the parliament Friday that the first three months of 2009 saw 1,842 terrorist attacks across country that killed at least 1,395 people.

Various groups of Islamic militants have gained control over almost the entire tribal region near Afghan border and NWFP.

Lacking a well-articulated policy to deal with extremism and terrorism, Pakistan has oscillated between occasional military actions and failed peace deals, which only result into the increase of militant’s strength and influence.

Separately, four people, including a commander from a militant outfit Ansarul Islam, were killed in a remote-controlled bombing in Khyber tribal district, the Dawn television reported.

Ansarul Islam has a long history of animosity with another militant organisation Lashkar-e-Islam. Dozens were killed when the rival groups fought fierce battle in June 2008 for the dominance in Khyber district.

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