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25 Pakistanis Killed, 15 Injured in Suicide Attack on Police Station in Bannu

January 18, 2011

25 killed in suicide car blast in Bannu, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 12, 2011 (Xinhua) --

At least 25 people were killed in a suicide car blast that ripped through a police station Wednesday evening near the city of Bannu in northwest Pakistan, sources told Xinhua.

In a telephone interview with Xinhua, the sources who asked to remain anonymous said that 17 Frontier Corps personnel and eight civilians were killed in the blast that took place at about 06:00 p.m. local time when an explosive-laden car rammed into a police station located 14 km away from Bannu.

According to the sources and local media reports, the blast has completely destroyed the police station and damaged a mosque and a primary school nearby. Many people were said to be near the site when the explosion went off.

All the injured people have been rushed to a district hospital in the city. Local media quoted hospital sources as saying that about 17 people were injured in the blast.

Details about the identity of the suicide bomber are not immediately available.

Shortly after the blast, Pakistan Taliban (TTP) has claimed the responsibility for the blast.

This is the third blast that took place in Pakistan on Wednesday. Prior to this, at about 02:00 p.m. local time, two blasts occurred in Peshawar, a city northeast of Bannu in the country's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, leaving two women killed and seven others including three children injured.

The three blasts coincided with the visit paid by the U.S vice president Joe Biden to Pakistan, who arrived in Islamabad Wednesday for a one-day visit after wrapping up a brief tour in the neighboring country of Afghanistan.

Editor: yan

Suicide bomb kills 18 in Pakistan

Wednesday, January 12, 2011, AFP -

Eighteen people were killed and 15 others were wounded when a suicide bomber ploughed his explosives-laden car into a police station in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, officials said.

The bomber's car struck Miryan police station on the outskirts of the town of Bannu and badly damaged a nearby mosque.

"We have received 18 dead bodies and 15 injured," said Mohammad Rahim, a doctor in Bannu's main hospital.

District police chief Mohammad Iftikhar told AFP that most of those hurt were police officers and paramilitary personnel.

The attack was immediately claimed by Pakistani Taliban, who said it was to avenge US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt, which borders Afghanistan.

"We claim responsibility for this attack. We will continue such attacks unless the drone attacks are stopped," Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq, speaking from an undisclosed location, told AFP by telephone.

The bomb followed a missile strike by an unmanned aircraft on a militant compound in the North Waziristan region at dawn on Wednesday, which killed five militants, security officials said.

The United States does not officially confirm the controversial drone attacks, which take place with Islamabad's tacit approval and which US officials say has severely weakened Al-Qaeda's leadership.

In 2010 the campaign doubled missile attacks in the tribal area with around 100 drone strikes killing more than 650 people, according to an AFP tally.

The suicide attack came as US Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Pakistan and delivered a bold message of support for its key anti-terror ally, telling the country that America is "not the enemy of Islam".

Biden spoke following talks with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that were expected to raise America's wish to see Pakistan do more to eradicate Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants living on its remote border.

The United States wants Pakistan's army to do more to combat extremists on its border, including by launching a ground offensive in the district of North Waziristan, where it says key Taliban leaders reside.

The army has stalled on a ground operation, saying its troops are overstretched

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