Three killed in attacks in northwest Pakistan
Islamabad: Three persons were killed and over 20 others injured in three terrorist attacks, including a suicide bombing and a blast outside the home of a provincial minister, in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday.
A suicide bomber targeted a police van in Bannu town of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, killing two policemen and injuring 18 others, officials and witnesses said. The van was destroyed by the blast.
The bomber, who was reportedly riding a motorcycle, detonated his explosives near Saddar police station in Bannu, which has witnessed numerous attacks by militants in the past few years.
Several policemen and passers-by were among the injured. Witnesses said the blast was followed by firing. Seven persons were injured in a blast that occurred 200 feet from the home of Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the Information Minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in Pabbi town.
Hussain, an outspoken critic of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan who has received several death threats, was not at home at the time of the blast. A group of labourers was engaged in some construction work near Hussain`s home when the low-intensity bomb exploded.
Several labourers and passers-by were among the injured. Police said the bomb was hidden in a pile of gravel being used to build a roadside drain and footage on television showed the blast had created a crater.
Hussain, a top leader of the province`s ruling Awami National Party, was in the provincial capital of Peshawar at the time of the blast near his home.
The minister`s only son was gunned down by the Taliban in Pabbi in July 2010. Days later, a Taliban suicide bomber targeted Hussain`s home and killed nine persons.
In the third blast, a bomb disposal squad personnel was killed while defusing a bomb on the outskirts of Peshawar, officials said.
No group claimed responsibility for the attacks though such incidents are usually blamed on the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
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