Pakistan bomb attacks kill eight

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The Independent Online

Eight people died and at least four were wounded in Pakistan bomb attacks today as politicians met for a private briefing on the militant threat facing the country.

The deaths happened in the nation's volatile northwest, where al-Qa'ida and Taliban militants have established bases near the Afghan border.

Three children, two police officers and three prisoners died when a roadside bomb exploded on a prison vehicle and caught a school bus in its wake in the Dir region.

In Islamabad, an apparent suicide car bombing severely damaged an anti-terror squad building and wounded at least four police in the heavily guarded Police Lines neighbourhood.

Militants have stepped up attacks on security, government and Western targets in Pakistan, reaching well beyond the north-west border areas. A suicide truck bombing in Islamabad last month killed 54 and severely damaged the Marriott Hotel.

The latest incident in Islamabad happened amid tight security for the security meeting at the Parliament building.

Ambulances streamed into the smoke-filled police complex after the blast.

The front section of the three-storey, red-brick building was destroyed and a staircase had collapsed.

Suicide attacks have killed nearly 1,200 people since July 2007, most of them civilians.