Five police killed by suicide bomber in Pakistan

A suicide bomber in a pick-up truck filled with explosives attacked a police building in north-west Pakistan today, killing five police officers and wounding at least 30 other people in the latest round of bloodshed to hit the country since the US raid which killed Osama bin Laden.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the early- morning strike in Peshawar, and promised more attacks as they and other al-Qa'ida-affiliated groups seek to avenge the leader's death.

Already this month, the Pakistani Taliban has claimed three other revenge attacks, including a deadly 18-hour siege of a naval base.

The bomber's target today appeared to be the police's criminal investigation department, but the building was also an army base and several military facilities are also nearby, said Liaquat Ali Khan, a senior police official in Peshawar.

Investigators with the police counter-terrorism unit were stationed at the centre, said Fayaz Khan Toru, the top police official in north-western Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Police officer Mohammad Zahid was in the basement of the building when the bomb went off.

"I felt like the sky fell on me," he said in hospital, where he was being treated for multiple injuries. "The explosion jammed the door of my room in the basement, but there was a small hole in the wall so I crawled through that. When I got outside, there was lots of dust and smoke."

At least five police officers died, and 30 people were wounded, police official Jalal Khan said. Military forces quickly sealed off much of the area as machines were brought in to sift through the huge piles of rubble left at the site of what was once a multistorey building.

The Pakistani Taliban, while hostile to the United States, also despise the Pakistani government and security forces for co-operating with Washington since the September 11 2001 attacks. The group has carried out numerous attacks on Pakistan's security establishment over the years.

Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said future attacks would also target Pakistan's president, prime minister and army chief, but he said the militants would not assault the country's nuclear installations because "Pakistan is the only Muslim nuclear power state".

"We had announced that we will target Pakistani leaders and Pakistani security forces to punish them for supporting America," he said. "We are carrying out these attacks to prove that we can do what we say."

Government leaders condemned today's bombing.

"Our determination is much higher than before, and we will fight 'til the defeat of these terrorists," said Bashir Bilour, a senior official with the provincial government. He said at least 660lb (300kg) of explosives were used.

Bin Laden was killed on May 2 by a team of US Navy Seals in the army town of Abbottabad, elsewhere in Pakistan's north-west and roughly a mile away from Pakistan's premier military academy.

Since the raid, US-Pakistan relations have sunk to new lows.

Pakistani leaders insist they had no idea the al-Qa'ida leader had been living, apparently for five years, in the large, three-storey house in Abbottabad. And they are furious that the US raided the house without telling them in advance.

Since the bin Laden raid, the Pakistani Taliban has taken responsibility for a twin suicide bombing at a paramilitary police training facility which killed around 90 people and a car bomb that slightly wounded two Americans in north-west Pakistan.

But the siege of the naval base in the southern port city of Karachi was easily one of the most audacious militant assaults in years and further rattled a military establishment already humiliated by the unilateral US raid.

The militants destroyed two US-supplied surveillance aircraft while killing 10 people on the base. Four militants died in the fighting, officials said.

There have been conflicting accounts as to the number of insurgents involved - anywhere from six to 15. Pakistan security agencies are known to sometimes not give full accounts of terrorism incidents and often hold suspects for months without informing the public.

The fact that the attackers managed to infiltrate so deep into the high-security base led to speculation they may have had inside information or assistance.

The military is not immune from the anti-Americanism and Islamism coursing through the country, especially in its lower ranks, and America's raid against bin Laden has exacerbated anger among soldiers.

The naval base stand-off also revived international concerns over whether Pakistan's estimated 100 nuclear weapons were safe from extremists.

During a news conference in Kabul yesterday, Nato Secretary- General Anders Fogh Rasmussen acknowledged the ongoing concerns about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

"Based on the information and intelligence we have, I feel confident that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is safe and well protected," he said. "But of course, it is a matter of concern and we follow the situation closely."

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

JavaScript Developer (Angular, Web Forms, HTML5, Ext JS,CSS3)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: JavaScript Dev...

BC2

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice