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Pakistani Suicide Car Bomber Kills 27

Pakistani authorities say a suicide bomber has rammed his explosives-laden car into a military convoy at a security checkpoint in northwest Pakistan, killing 25 soldiers and police and two passers-by.

The authorities say another 62 security personnel and three civilians were wounded in the attack Saturday near the town of Hangu in North West Frontier Province.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for U.S. drone attacks. Taliban commander Hakeemullah Mehsud said militants will continue suicide attacks if the drone strikes do not stop.

Both Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani issued statements condemning the attack. Mr. Zardari vowed to root out terrorism and extremism from the country.

Northwest Pakistan has experienced a surge of militant attacks by Taliban fighters and other Islamic groups. Attacks also have been carried out in other parts of Pakistan, including the capital, Islamabad, and the commercial center, Karachi.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.