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Pak police hq blown up
Afzal Khan writes from Islamabad

At least 11 persons were killed and 18 wounded in two bomb blasts targeting policemen, including one in Islamabad, just as the military was briefing members of Parliament on the progress made in the ongoing operations in tribal areas.

A roadside remote-controlled bomb hit a police van carrying prisoners in Dir Bala, adjacent to the troubled Swat Valley. A school bus was also blown away. Four school girls, four policemen, three prisoners and 11 more were injured.

The Islamabad blast occurred at the police headquarters on the outer fringe of the Capital about 10 km from Parliament House, injuring seven policemen, three of them critically.

The block meant for training the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) collapsed in the blast. Casualties were not high because the police complex was sparsely manned at that time.

The police and para-military Rangers have been deployed in strength to build a security cordon around 'Red Zone' in the city on the second day of in-camera joint sitting of Parliament.

Police chief Raza Gardezi said a young man driving a green car bearing a Karachi number was allowed inside by the guard, despite strict instructions to the contrary, after he reportedly received a call from somebody in the office that the youth had brought sweets for him.

He parked his car near the ATS block, handed over the sweets box to the receptionist and returned to his vehicle when the blast occurred.

A letter purportedly from a commander in Bajaur Agency was found in the box warning the government that blasts would continue until the army stopped its operations in the agency.

Confusion prevailed about the fate of the young man who drove in the vehicle. An identity card bearing the name of Musa Khan was found in the debris but the police said it might be a fake one.

“We are still determining if it was a suicide bombing. Body parts have been found at the site of the blast,” Raza Gardezi said.



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