Taliban militants, dressed in battle fatigues, on Monday made a brazen attempt to storm the US consulate in this northwest Pakistani city with car bombs and grenades as a suicide bomber unleashed carnage at a rally near here killing a total of 46 people.
While 43 people were killed and over 100 others injured in the suicide bombing in Timergara in lower Dir, three others, including a policeman, lost their lives in the attack targeting the American consulate.
Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack with its spokesman Azam Tariq saying “3,000 fedayeen were ready to target the Americans.”
“It was a well-organised attack,” Bashir Ahmed Bilour, senior minister in the Pakhtoonkhwa provincial government said. “The situation is now under control,” he said, adding that three people were killed in the attempted attack and subsequent gun battle with Pakistani security services, including militants and a policeman.
“They (security forces) have killed militants. The whole area is encircled by the army. The militants were trying to enter the American consulate, but they did not succeed,” he said. The blasts were so intense that the mobile phones services were closed for some time.
Analyst Rustam Shah Mohmand said that the government had not learnt any lessons from previous blasts in the same area.
“The authorities become lax after a time and this allows the terrorists to regroup,” he said.