Bomber strikes US vehicle, 2 Pakistanis killed

A suicide bomber rammed a car filled with explosives into a US government vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, killing two Pakistanis and wounding 19 others including two Americans, officials said.

The attack in the city of Peshawar was a vivid reminder of the danger US officials face while working in Pakistan, especially in the country’s northwest where Taliban and al-Qaeda militants are strongest.

The bomber struck the armoured vehicle after it left the US Consulate in Peshawar and as it was travelling through an area of the city that hosts various international organisations, including the United Nations, said police officer Pervez Khan. The attack killed two Pakistanis and wounded 19 other people, said senior police officer Javed Khan.

Two Americans and two Pakistanis working at the US Consulate in Peshawar were among the wounded. The wounds to the Americans were not life-threatening, a US Embassy official said on condition of anonymity.

The US said it would review its security procedures following Monday’s attack, which was condemned by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “We pray for the safe recovery of both American and Pakistani victims, and once again we deplore the cowardly act of suicide bombing and terrorism that has affected so many around the world,” Clinton said during a visit to Indonesia.

The car driven by the suicide bomber contained 110 kg of explosives, Pakistani police officer Abdul Haq said.

The blast ripped apart the SUV carrying the US Consulate employees and triggered a raging fire. All that was left of the SUV in the end was a carcass of blackened, twisted metal.

 

The driver of the vehicle that was attacked, Atif Nawaz, said the force of the blast knocked him out. “When I came to my senses, I jumped out of my car and screamed, ‘What happened?’’’ said Nawaz, whose face and hands were badly burned. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pak Christian girl’s bail hearing adjourned

ISLAMABAD: A young Christian girl arrested on a blasphemy charge will remain in a high-security jail till at least Friday as the court hearing her case was adjourned on Monday. Judge Muhammad Azam Khan adjourned the case until September 7 because of a lawyers’ strike Monday. The adjournment followed a request from the lawyer of Malik Ammad, the man who filed the complaint against Rimsha Masih. Rimsha has been held at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi since her arrest on August 16. PTI

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