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Two powerful suicide attacks struck different areas of northwestern
Pakistan Saturday, apparently targeting the country's security forces.
In the first attack, the bomber killed at least six people and wounded
more than 60 others outside a police station in Bannu. Shortly
thereafter in Peshawar's commercial district, another attacker exploded
outside a bank affiliated with the Pakistani army, killing 10 people
and wounding more than 70 others.
Authorities in Bannu say the
suicide bomber exploded a small truck full of explosives, destroying
the police station and surrounding buildings.
District Police Officer Iqbal Marwat says nearby civilians were wounded, but most of the casualties were police officers.
He says the attacker tried to ram the vehicle through the main gate, but then detonated the bomb after police opened fire.
Local media are quoting a representative for the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan as taking responsibility for the bombing.
is the first time the alliance of more than a dozen militant groups
with links to al-Qaida has claimed responsibility since its former
leader Baitullah Mehsud was reportedly killed in a U.S. missile
strike. Analysts had suggested the group was in disarray following
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Hours later in Peshawar, officials say an
attacker in a parked car threw a grenade at a crowd of people outside
the Askari Bank before exploding in the car.
No one has claimed
responsibility for the attack. Senior police official Ghafoor Afridi
tells VOA that the bomber bypassed multiple security checkpoints.
was checking all around. But somehow, it is not possible to check all
vehicles, so they might have slipped a vehicle inside and exploded it,"
Saturday's attacks come as the Pakistani military
works to expand its offensive against the Taliban.