Taliban car bombing is 'Osama revenge'

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A car bomb struck an armoured vehicle taking American government employees to the US consulate in north-west Pakistan yesterday, officials said, in a strike that Taliban militants said was in revenge for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Two Americans suffered minor injuries, but one Pakistani passer-by was killed and at least 10 others were wounded in the attack in Peshawar. The strike was the first on Westerners since the 2 May raid by American commandos on Bin Laden's hide-out, around three hours from Peshawar.

The Pakistani Taliban, an Al-Qa'ida-allied group, claimed responsibility. "We will carry out more deadly attacks," spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan said in a phone call from an undisclosed location. "We will avenge the martyrdom of Osama."