Bomb in Pakistan hits US vehicle; 1 Pakistani dies

AP News
Posted: May 20, 2011 1:03 AM
Bomb in Pakistan hits US vehicle; 1 Pakistani dies

A roadside bomb exploded near a pair of U.S. consulate vehicles carrying Americans in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Friday, killing a Pakistani passer-by and wounding several people including some of the passengers, officials said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. In the wake of the May 2 U.S. raid that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden elsewhere in Pakistan's northwest, militant groups such as the Pakistani Taliban have vowed revenge attacks including those targeting Americans in Pakistan.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said some of the Americans in the vehicle were only slightly wounded, and that only one of the automobiles was damaged during the attack. No high-ranking U.S. official was in the vehicles, which were making routine trips to and from the consulate.

Footage from the scene showed that the car apparently hit was a large, sport utility vehicle. It appeared to have veered into a pole and the hood was damaged. Senior police official Shafi Ullah said the vehicle was bulletproof. Nearby buildings also were damaged during the blast.

The U.S. Consulate in Peshawar is widely believed to be a front for CIA operations, and its employees have been targeted in the past. In August 2008, Lynne Tracy, then the top U.S. diplomat at the consulate, survived a gun attack on her armored vehicle.

Peshawar lies just outside Pakistan's tribal regions, where al-Qaida and the Taliban have long had hideouts. The city itself has witnessed numerous suicide and other bombings in recent years, including many that have killed security forces and ordinary civilians.

The bin Laden raid in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad has badly soured Pakistan-U.S. relations.

Pakistan is angry it was not warned in advance that the Navy SEALs would storm the compound, and insists it had no idea the terror mastermind was hiding there. U.S. officials have visited Pakistan in recent days to try to patch up differences.


Toosi reported from Islamabad.