Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province was reeling on Saturday after two separate suicide car bombings in which at least 16 people were people killed and more than 100 wounded.

In the provincial capital Peshawar, an explosives-packed car was detonated, apparently by a person sitting inside the vehicle, in the parking lot of Askari bank in the Army cantonment area.

At least 10 people died and more than 80 were wounded in the attack that appeared targeted at the bank, which is affiliated to the Pakistan Army Welfare Trust.

The attack took place around 12 noon, a busy hour for the bank located in the middle of a crowded shopping area.

Television footage showed mangled cars and shattered glass from the bank’s frontage.

Most of the dead and injured were either in the parking lot or inside the bank.

Unexploded grenade

An unexploded grenade was found at the site, leading to the theory that the attacker threw it before detonating the vehicle.

Hours earlier, an explosives-packed truck drove into a police station in Bannu killing six people. Scores were also injured in the attack, claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

There were both civilians and policemen among the casualties.

Earlier this week, Qari Hussain Mehsud, a top Taliban commander, told Associated Press in an interview at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan denied the impression that the TTP had weakened after the death of its leader Beithullah Mehsud.

Hussain, who is said to have trained hundreds of suicide bombers, said the TTP was stronger than ever and would continue carrying out suicide attacks if the Army launched another offensive against it.

The interview, held on Thursday, took place hours before an American missile attack in the area killed 12 people.


Pakistan vows offensive after bomb kills 49October 10, 2009

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