Terrorists on Friday struck in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar for the second straight day as a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a police station near a mosque, killing at least 11 people and injuring 16 others.
The police station in the cantonment area of North West Frontier Province's capital city targeted by the attacker also housed the office of the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA). A nearby mosque was also severely damaged by the powerful blast.
Three policemen, two women and a child were among the dead, officials said. Three security personnel were among the injured, said district administration chief Sahibzada Muhammad Anees.
"It was a suicide attack. The leg of the bomber has been found," NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told reporters at the site of the attack. Seven of the injured are in a serious condition, he said.
The attack came a day after the eastern city of Lahore witnessed three near-simultaneous strikes on a Federal Investigation Agency office and two police training centres that killed 18 people. Ten attackers were either gunned down by security forces or blew themselves up.
The latest blast also follows the explosion in a government residential colony in Peshawar yesterday that killed a child and injured 10 others, a week after 52 civilians were killed in a suicide attack in a city market.
The CIA office and police were targets of the bomber but many civilians were killed and injured," Hussain said.
About 60 to 70 kg of explosives were used in the attack, said Additional Inspector General of Police Shafqat Malik of the bomb disposal squad.
Hussain said militants had stepped up attacks in view of the government's plans to launch operations in the Taliban's stronghold of South Waziristan. "But just as we didn't accept pressure from the militants when we were conducting operations in Malakand division, we won't accept pressure now. We will take firm steps to end terrorism," he said.
An emergency was declared in all hospitals in Peshawar, where authorities have been on high alert for the past few weeks in the wake of a wave of deadly attacks blamed on the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
A child was killed and 12 people were injured yesterday in a car bomb attack in a residential colony of Peshawar that is home to a large number of government employees. Hours earlier, a suicide bomber targeted a police station in Kohat town, killing 11 people and injuring over 20. PTI