AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
PESHAWAR: 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 today.
“A remote-controlled bomb exploded as a police van carrying four prisoners passed by an abandoned tin of vegetable oil in Peshawar city today, 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 yesterday when a mortar bomb hit his cab in the upmarket Hayatabad area of Peshawar, 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.