Bombs in northwest Pakistan target police, kill 6 officers

AP News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2015 6:50 AM

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Two roadside bombings targeted Pakistani police in the country's restive northwest on Tuesday, killing six officers. The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks.

The first bombing took place in Mansehra district and killed two policemen, local police chief Ijaz Khan said.

Hours later, a roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying police officers from the Bomb Disposal Unit in the northwestern town of Kurram, killing four of them, according to local officer Naeem Khan said. Kurram is located about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Peshawar, the main city in the country's northwest.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Mohammad Khurassani, said in a statement to reporters that the militant group carried out both attacks. The Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups have been waging war against the state for over a decade in a bid to topple the Pakistani government and install their own harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

They often target police or soldiers in a bid to undermine security.

In recent days, the Taliban have also scattered threatening letters outside various schools in the district of Mansehra, warning against girls and boys studying in the same classrooms, said police officer Saboor Khan.

Pakistan's military in June launched a major operation against militants in the country's troubled North Waziristan tribal region and authorities say they have either killed or evicted most of the insurgents from the area. North Waziristan was until recently a base for local and foreign militants for launching attacks in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, in the southern port city of Karachi, unidentified assailants threw grenades at two schools Tuesday, creating panic but causing no casualties or damage, senior police officer Ghulam Qadir said.

The schools were not open at the time and the assailants managed to flee, Qadir said.

Pakistani authorities have beefed up security at schools nationwide following the horrific Dec. 16 attack when the Taliban killed 150 students and teachers at a school in Peshawar.

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Associated Press Writer Aqeel Ahmed in Mansehra and Adil Jawad in Karachi, Pakistan, contributed to this report.