Friday, May 29, 2009

12 killed in Pakistan explosions; 3 suspected militants die in shootout

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Pakistani officials announced Friday that
12 victims died in a series of explosions that rocked northwest
Pakistan on Thursday.

In addition, three suspected militants were killed by police.

The attacks shook Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier
Province, where government forces have waged a massive operation
against Taliban militants.

The deadliest of the attacks occurred early Thursday evening. Timed
explosive devices on two parked motorcycles detonated back-to-back,
killing six people at two crowded adjacent bazaars, said Shafqat
Malik, Peshawar bomb disposal squad chief.

Two children were among the dead, and at least 75 people were wounded.

After the bazaar attacks, several of the suspects fled to a rooftop,
where they fought a gunbattle against police. Three suspected
militants were killed, police said.

The markets, Qissa Khawani and Kabari, are part of the larger Khyber Bazaar.

Police recovered two suicide vests and said they thought the attackers
might have caused the blasts to lure more people to the area before
detonating additional explosives.

Thick smoke engulfed the streets, and GEO-TV showed dazed people
mingling and running amid burned-out vehicles and mounds of building
debris. Firefighters doused flames, and other emergency workers
scrambled to rescue people from rubble.

In another bombing, three policeman and one civilian were killed on
the outskirts of Peshawar, authorities said.

Another suicide bombing occurred later in Dera Ismail Khan, the
province's southernmost city. A police officer and a civilian were
killed, authorities said. At least 12 were wounded.

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