Pakistani Border Briefing 10/2/07

Suicide bomber in burqa kills 16 in Pakistan

It could be like this:

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) — A suicide bomber disguised in a woman’s burqa blew himself up at a busy police checkpost in northwest Pakistan Monday, killing at least 16 people including four policemen, officials said.

The blast happened on the outskirts of Bannu, a key garrison town near Pakistan’s troubled tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, where the army is battling Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

Or it could be like this:

PESHAWAR: A woman detonated explosives hidden under her burqa at a police checkpoint on Monday, killing 16 people and wounding 22 in what appeared to be Pakistan’s first female suicide attack, officials said.

Further information from the police indicates the killer was definitely male.

Examination of remains “confirmed that it was a male suicide bomber” wearing women’s clothing, while initial reports of a possible female attacker had been discounted, Bannu police chief Ameer Hamza Mahsud said.

A doctor at the local hospital, Mohammad Usman, also confirmed that the attacker was a man.

Police sources said they had earlier received intelligence that male suicide bombers dressed in all-covering burqas, a common female garment in conservative northwestern Pakistan, would soon launch attacks.

They had beefed up security at all checkpoints and the vehicle carrying the bomber was intercepted as a result, but the attacker blew himself up before they could check it, one source said.

Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Javed Cheema said 16 people were killed and 29 were wounded and that authorities were still investigating the blast.

Horrible and utterly wicked!

In other news…

India has formally expressed concern over the growing influence of the Taliban in Pakistan, and has asked Pakistan to exert some controls on the Taliban. Pakistan has responded with allegations that India is sponsoring insurgent elements in Pakistan.

Up in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Taliban killers severely beat and then hanged a 15-year-old youth from an electrical pole with five dollar bills stuffed in his mouth as a warning to Afghans not to use American money. They accused him of spying, a charge his relatives stated was false. He had been working in the bazaar at Sangin making keys, and was on his way home from work when he was kidnapped and murdered.

In better news, for the first time since partition in 1948 an India-Pakistan trucking route has opened up.

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