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Suicide bombings kill 57 in Pak

Islamabad, July 19
At least 57 persons were killed and scores injured today in three suicide bombings in Pakistan, including one targeting a group of Chinese engineers, in possible fallout of the bloody crackdown against pro-Taliban Lal Masjid here.

A suicide bomber, driving an explosive-laden vehicle, exploded when a security convoy carrying Chinese engineers overtook his car in the Hub town of southwest Balochistan province.

“The bomber exploded prematurely as a result the impact of the blast was felt by the police vehicle going ahead of the bus (carrying the Chinese engineers). The Chinese guests were safe and driven to safety,” Maj-Gen Saleem Nawas, heading the paramilitary Frontier Corps guarding the town, told media.

He said 30 persons, including eight policemen, were killed and 25 injured in the attack. The explosion also caused extensive damage to several shops and vehicles in the vicinity.

Late in the evening, another suicide bomber went off in a mosque in cantonment area in Kohat in North Western Province, (NWFP) during the evening prayers time, killing 19 persons, mostly armymen.

Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao told the media here that 14 persons, most of whom were army recruits, were killed when the bomber exploded in the midst of prayer congregation.

But local television channels reported that 19 persons, including two children, were killed. This is the third suicide bombing of the area.

The mosque is located in Pathan lines and no civilian can enter that area, local reports said, adding the attack took place in high security area despite red alert all over the country.

In another suicide attack at a police training centre at Hangu in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), eight persons were killed and 23 injured.

The bomber reportedly blew his vehicle at the entrance of the police training centre at the city. He tried to barge into the centre but was stopped at the gate where he exploded the car, reports from Bajore in NWFP said, adding eight shops were also gutted in the blast. — PTI

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