Dawn : Suicide attacks in north and south Pakistan kill 36 people, 54 wounded

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Suicide attacks in north and south Pakistan kill 36 people, 54 wounded

July 19, 2007

KARACHI, Pakistan, July 19 (AP) - Suicide bombers hit a convoy of Chinese workers in southern Pakistan and a police academy in the north, killing 36 people and injuring more than 54 as violence swept further across the country.

The convoy was passing through the main bazaar in Hub, a town in Baluchistan province, some 30 km northwest of the port city of Karachi, when a moving car blew up next to a police vehicle, officials said.

Hub police chief Ghulam Mohammed Thaib said 29 people were killed, including seven police. About 30 other people were wounded, some critically.

Maj. Gen. Saleem Nawaz, a commander of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Constabulary, said it was fortunate the Chinese workers weren't hurt by the car bomb.

“It was laden with very heavy explosives, but due to our spacing and our security measures, Allah has been very kind,” he said.

The police “sacrificed their lives and the Chinese friends were absolutely safe,” General Nawaz told Dawn News television.

Some officials suggested the bomb was remote-controlled, but Thaib and Nawaz, whose men were also guarding the minibus carrying some 10 Chinese technicians and engineers, said it was a suicide attack.

Television pictures showed how the blast ripped off the front of several roadside shops.

Several damaged cars and buses lay rammed into one another among a tangle of bricks and clothing.

The Chinese targeted Thursday worked at a lead extraction plant in Dudhar in Baluchistan and were temporarily leaving the area for Karachi because of security concerns, police said.

In the northwest, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives when guards prevented him from entering the parade ground of the police academy in Hangu, 70 kilometers southwest of Peshawar.

The bomber killed six bystanders and one policeman, and another 24 people were injured, academy chief Attaullah Wazir said.

The attacker also died when the car was torn apart by the explosion.