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Suicide bombings kill 55 in Pakistan

world Updated: Jul 20, 2007 09:43 IST

IANS
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Three suicide bombings targeting military and police facilities and Chinese engineers have killed at least 55 people in Pakistan, which has seen a surge in violent attacks since the bloody end to a mosque siege in Islamabad.

A suicide bomber driving a car detonated high-intensity explosives packed in the vehicle late on Thursday as a convoy of Chinese engineers travelled through the town of Hub in Pakistan's southern Balochistan province.

Thirty people were killed and 27 more injured in the attack, Balochistan government spokesman Raziq Bugti told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

The Chinese engineers, who were being escorted by a heavy contingent of police, remained unhurt in the blast that damaged 10 more vehicles on the road.

The expatriates were moving towards Pakistan's largest city of Karachi located some 35 km southeast of Hub.

Eight policemen were also among the dead, Frontier Corps paramilitary forces commander Major General Saleem Nawaz said.

In a separate blast on Thursday night, 17 people, many of them military recruits, were killed at a military base in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).

"It was a suicide attack," Interior Ministry spokesman Javeed Cheema said.

The blast occurred as worshippers were offering the night prayer in a mosque at a military base in Kohat, around 175 km southwest of Islamabad.

"Many among the killed and injured are army recruits," Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said, adding that the entire nation should condemn the attack.

A third suicide bomber on Thursday detonated explosives packed in his car at the entrance to a police training academy in the town of Hangu, 90 km southwest of NWFP capital Peshawar, killing eight people, including a policeman, and injuring 29.

One child was among the five civilians killed in the bombing, local police official Gul Zaman said. The body of the suicide bomber was also recovered from the blast site.

The attacker set off the explosives when guards stopped him as he tried to drive his vehicle into the academy, where the recruits had just finished their morning drill.

The three fresh attacks came a day after 34 people, including 17 soldiers, were killed in skirmishes between pro-Taliban militants and security forces in the country's semi-autonomous tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

Violence has increased in Pakistan in the aftermath of the military's storming operation against the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, during which at least 75 Islamic militants were killed on July 10.

In response to the calls of extremists, revenge attacks have been carried out on military convoys and police facilities that have so far killed more than 100 security personnel.