Twin Blasts Kill Several In Peshawar

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Aug. 11 (UPI) — Two blasts Thursday in Peshawar, Pakistan, one of them by a teenage girl suicide attacker at a police checkpoint, killed several people, police said.

The blasts ended nearly two months of calm in the violence ravaged city, capital of the northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province near the country’s tense tribal region bordering Afghanistan, Geo News reported.

The suicide attack occurred minutes after another explosion nearby that targeted a police truck, CNN reported.

At least seven people including the suicide bomber died in the two blasts, the report said quoting authorities. China’s Xinhua news agency, quoting local television, reported eight people died in the attacks.

At least 37 more were wounded in the two attacks, Geo News said. Those killed included five police officers.

“This was a female suicide bomber aged around 17 or 18 who threw a hand grenade on the police checkpoint, 20 meters (21 yards) away from the site of the first blast, and then blew herself up,” a police official told Geo News.

“Her vest did not explode completely. She was killed and another woman was also killed … We feel that she was just a passerby,” a hospital spokesman said.

The police official said those injured included a 10-year-old boy.

In the first attack targeting the police truck, the bomb, hidden in a handcart and set off remotely, tore through vehicle carrying 20 police personnel.

CNN reported although the region has been hit by bombings, attacks by a female suicide bomber are rare.

The report quoted police as saying casualties in the suicide bomb attack were low because the attacker’s explosives-packed vest did not function properly.

In December 2010, a teenage female suicide bomber killed more than 40 people and injured more than 100 others at a food distribution point in Pakistan’s tribal region.

The Xinhua report, quoting local reports, said Thursday’s attacks may have been to avenge a police search operation the previous day in which a Taliban leader was arrested.

Also on Wednesday, a suspected U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan killed about 20 fighters suspected of belonging to the Haqqani network.

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