A female suicide attacker and a handcart bomb targeted Pakistani police today, killing seven people in the first deadly attacks to hit the northwest during Ramadan, officials said.
The city of Peshawar, where the bombs struck, is on the frontline of a Taliban insurgency and borders Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt that Washington calls the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.
It was only the third time police have confirmed a woman suicide attacker in the nuclear-armed country of 167 million where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked bombers have killed 4,500 people since 2007, destabilizing the government.
Dozens were wounded in today’s attacks, carried out several hours apart in the Lahori Gate area of Peshawar, a teeming city of 2.5 million, targeting first a police van and secondly a police checkpost.
There was initial confusion on whether the second woman was also carrying explosives, but police and medics later said she had not.
He said 16 people were admitted with injuries after the second blast, including a 10-year-old boy.
Police official Imtiaz Shah confirmed that the other woman was a passer by and had no connection to the woman, believed to have been around 17 years old.
In late June, the Pakistani Taliban claimed for the first time that a married Uzbek couple carried out a suicide attack on a police station that killed 10 officers and threatened further husband-and-wife bombings.