Suicide bomber wounds 2 policemen in northwestern Pakistan

Attacker detonates explosives near police pickup truck; bomb also explodes near minivan in the eastern city of Lahore, wounding 14 people.

Pakistan bomb 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Pakistan bomb 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
A suicide bomber killed himself and wounded two policemen in northwestern Pakistan on Friday in the latest attack targeting security forces since last month's deadly army air raid on a religious school. The attacker, believed aged 19, detonated his explosives near a police pickup truck parked at a busy crossroads in Pishta Khara, on the southern outskirts of Peshawar, a major city near the Afghan border, said Supt. Iftikhar Khan, a senior police officer in the area. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which shattered the windows of the police vehicle and damaged a nearby police post. The two policemen were not seriously hurt. In a separate incident, a bomb planted in a bin exploded near a minivan carrying passengers, wounding 14 people in the eastern city of Lahore, said Khalid Farooq, chief of police in the city. Police earlier stated that two people had been killed in the Lahore blast, but Farooq said there were no deaths. The culprits and motive were not immediately clear. Friday's Peshawar attack followed threats by pro-Taliban militants to target Pakistan security forces with suicide bombers in retaliation for an Oct. 30 air raid in northwestern Bajur province that killed 80 suspected militants. Locals said the victims were innocent students. On Nov. 8, a suicide bomber killed at least 42 soldiers doing calisthenics in an attack believed linked to pro-Taliban militants seeking vengeance for the Bajur bombing. Police identified Friday's attacker as 19-year-old Nadeem, from Pishta Khara. The motive for the bombing was not clear. Peshawar is capital of the North West Frontier Province and has been the scene of small-scale bombings in recent months. Last month, a blast in a crowded market in Peshawar killed six people and wounded 40. Militants with loyalties ranging from al-Qaida and the Taliban to ethnic tribal groups have launched multiple suicide attacks and bombings on Pakistani security forces and attempted to kill President Gen. Pervez Musharraf since the country became a U.S. ally in the war on terror. Authorities blame the violence on Islamic militants.