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10 killed in Pak’s ISI building attack

world Updated: Nov 14, 2009 01:04 IST
AP
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A suicide bomber in a pickup truck attacked the northwestern regional headquarters of the Pakistani spy agency overseeing a campaign against militancy, killing 10 people on Friday.

Another suicide assault in the area killed six more.

The bombings were the latest in a string of attacks on security forces, civilians and Western targets since the government launched an offensive in mid-October against militants in the border region of South Waziristan, where al Qaeda and Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding out.

The attack on the Inter-Services Intelligence agency building occurred in the city of Peshawar, which has borne the brunt of the militants’ retaliation against the army offensive. A wave of bombings in the last week alone in and around the city has killed more than 50 people.

“This is a guerrilla war,” said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister for North West Frontier Province, where Peshawar is the capital. “We will continue our action against these militant terrorists. That is the only way we can survive.”

Security forces guarding the intelligence complex opened fire on a pickup laden with explosives, but the bomber was able to detonate his payload, said an intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

The early morning blast, heard across the city, destroyed much of the three-story building and killed 10 people, including seven who worked for the spy agency, the army said in a statement. Another 55 people were wounded, officials said.

“I was going to work when the blast took place and shattered the windows of our vehicle,” said witness Abdul Rahim Khan. “Thank God we are safe. There were a lot of dead bodies lying around.”