Northwest Pakistan violence takes big toll

Feb. 14, 2013 at 11:16 PM
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PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Pakistan's restive northwest came under another wave of militant violence that left 22 people dead, including security forces and militants, authorities said.

Thursday's suicide bombings and roadside blasts were centered in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the tribal Orakzai Agency, Dawn newspaper reported.

The report said 11 people, including three paramilitary personnel and two policemen, died after a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a security check post in the province's Hangu district. The blast brought down the check post, a busy site manned by large contingents of security and police personnel.

Dawn reported the blast injured 23 people and quoted authorities as saying the death toll could rise, as about a dozen more people were feared to have been buried under the wreckage of the check post. Rescue efforts were being hampered because of the difficult terrain and darkness, the report said.

In another incident in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, five suicide bombers and a student died during an attack on a police station in Bannu district. Two police officers were injured, but the extent of their injuries was not known, Dawn reported.

A police official said the attackers had strapped explosives to their bodies when they struck the Miryan police station. He said they also fired rockets at the station.

The outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack on Miryan police station, Dawn said. A TTP spokesman was quoted as saying it was in response to the recent killing of their fighters in North Waziristan.

In the third attack, four passengers in two vans died in two separate roadside explosions in the Hassanzai Dara area of the Orakzai tribal agency. Dawn said 20 others were wounded in the two explosions.

The victims were traveling to Peshawar when their vehicles were hit. The report said 15 of the injured were reported in critical condition at hospitals.

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