Bomb, mortar attacks kill two in Pakistan: police
05/12/2012 06:32 GMT
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, May 12, 2012 (AFP) - Bomb and mortar attacks killed at least two people and wounded 21 others in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, a gateway to the tribal badlands, police said on Saturday.
"A remote-controlled bomb exploded as a police van carrying four prisoners passed by an abandoned tin of vegetable oil in Peshawar city on Saturday, killing one policeman and wounding 17 others," local police official Mohammed Asif said.
A woman and four policemen were among those wounded.
Another local police official, Javed Iqbal, also confirmed the incident and casualties.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the blast but Islamist militants have carried out several attacks in the city.
A taxi driver was killed when a mortar bomb hit his cab in the upmarket Hayatabad area of Peshawar on Friday night, police official Tahir Ayub said.
Ayub said the headquarters of the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary in the area was apparently the target of the mortar bombs fired from the neighbouring Khyber tribal region.
"However, three mortars landed in open spaces while three others hit a house, a taxi cab and a shop," he said, adding that at least four people were wounded in the attack.
Peshawar, with a population of 2.5 million people, has long been on the frontline of violence blamed on an insurgency led by Taliban militants opposed to Islamabad's alliance with the United States.
Pakistan has battled the homegrown insurgency for years, with more than 3,000 soldiers killed in the battle against militancy.
According to an AFP tally, around 5,000 people have been killed in militant attacks across the country since July 2007, when government troops raided an extremist mosque in the capital Islamabad, sparking a bloody insurgency.
There were about 120 bomb attacks in Pakistan in 2011, up on the 96 bomb blasts in 2010, but far lower than violence in 2009 when there were 203 bombings across the country, according to an AFP tally
Northwest Pakistan suffers from chronic insecurity, largely connected to the semi-autonomous tribal belt near Afghanistan, which Washington calls the most dangerous place on Earth and a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.
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