PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Twin suicide bombings minutes apart killed nine police and five civilians, in a bloody assault on Pakistani police in a northwestern town, officials confirmed Friday, a day after the attacks.
The first bomber blew himself outside a police training centre in Bannu. Eight minutes later, another detonated as a patrol headed by local police chief Iqbal Marwat arrived at the entrance, officials said.
Bannu and the rest of North West Frontier Province is a flashpoint for Islamist militants attacking security personnel and civilians in the nuclear-armed country on the front line of the US-led war against Al-Qaeda.
“The death toll is 14. Nine policemen and five civilians were killed,” local administration chief Abdul Jabbar Shah told AFP.
“We found only the legs of the two suicide bombers who blew themselves eight minutes apart, ” Shah said.
“The first bomber struck at the checkpoint at the entrance, while the second bomber blew himself up as the district police chief arrived,” he added.
A curfew had been imposed in the town, where police, paramilitary troops and army soldiers were patrolling the streets, Shah said.
Police official Niaz Ahmed confirmed that the attacks killed 14 people and wounded more than 30.
Police — more lightly equipped than soldiers — are frequently targeted by Taliban militants while travelling in exposed vehicles.
More than 3,000 people have been killed in bomb attacks across Pakistan since July 2007 when government forces besieged Islamists holed up in a radical mosque in a leafy suburb of the capital Islamabad.