Suicide attack kills three in NW Pakistan

AFP , Tuesday 23 Sep 2014

A car bomb suicide attack targeting a senior military officer rocked Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar Tuesday, killing at least three people and wounding 13 others, police said.

Broken glass and human remains littered the scene of the explosion near the city's main railway station, where one SUV was blown to pieces while the wreck of another smouldered.

"It was a vehicle-borne suicide attack which killed three people including an FC (Frontier Constabulary) soldier, and wounded 13 others," senior local police official Najib-ur-Rehman told AFP, adding the two others were civilians including a woman.

He said the attacker blew up his car very close to the FC vehicles.

Faisal Shahzad, another senior police official, said the target appeared to be Brigadier Khalid Javed, the second most senior officer in the FC force, who escaped unhurt.

A spokesman for Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital, Syed Jameel Shah, also confirmed the death toll.

Najib said the attack was in revenge for the continuing military offensive in North Waziristan tribal region against insurgents.

Muhammad Rizwan, a government employee who was passing on a motorbike when the blast occurred, told AFP from his hospital bed it was an deafening explosion.

"I fell from my motorbike after the blast and regained consciousness in the hospital," said Rizwan, who sustained head and shoulder injuries.

Peshawar is the gateway to the seven semi-autonomous tribal regions where the military has been battling Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

The military began a long-awaited push to clear militant bases from North Waziristan in June after a bloody attack on Karachi airport finally sank faltering peace talks with the rebels.

Air strikes, artillery, mortars and ground troops have all been used to retake territory there.

The tribal areas have for years been a hideout for Islamist militants of all stripes -- including Al-Qaeda and the homegrown Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uighurs.

Pakistan's army says it has killed more than a thousand militants and lost 86 soldiers since the start of the current operation.

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