Suicide Bomber In Rickshaw Kills 3 In Peshawar

 A suicide bomber in a rickshaw detonated his explosives near a group of policemen in northwest Pakistan's main city of Peshawar, killing three people on Monday, according to Pakistani police. The attack was the latest
suicide bomber in rickshaw kills 3 in peshawar -...
PTI November 09, 2009 17:14 IST

 A suicide bomber in a rickshaw detonated his explosives near a group of policemen in northwest Pakistan's main city of Peshawar, killing three people on Monday, according to Pakistani police.

The attack was the latest in a string of strikes that have killed more than 300 people over the past six weeks.

 A police official said five other people were wounded in Monday's blast at Pathang Intersection on the well-known Ring Road. 

The bloodshed appears aimed at distracting the government from its offensive against the Taliban in the South Waziristan tribal region.

 A senior Peshawar police officer said the bomber was likely heading to a more crowded area but decided to set off his explosives when police stopped the rickshaw for checking. 

Police said the attacker killed a police constable, the rickshaw driver and a passer-by.

A man wounded in the blast recounted the moment the bomb went off.  "I was going towards my shop about 9.30 a.m ..I saw there were three policemen on duty. They called out to a rickshaw driver to stop. I was overtaking the rickshaw and suddenly a blast occurred and I fell down," Shah Nawaz said.

Television footage showed a destroyed rickshaw surrounded by security officials. A fork lift truck removed the vehicle's carcass to clear the road.

 Peshawar has been struck several times during the recent surge of strikes.  A late October explosion in the city levelled a market, killing around 112 people in the deadliest attack to hit the country since 2007. 

 The government has pledged to press ahead with the offensive in South Waziristan despite the assaults.  The US supports the operation because Pakistan's tribal belt is home to many militants involved in attacks on Western troops across the border in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's army has pitted some 30-thousand troops against up to eight-thousand militants, including many Uzbeks and other foreign insurgents who have long taken refuge in the lawless tribal areas.

The soldiers have been battling militants in three key Taliban bases in South Waziristan over the past few days.

The latest fighting on Sunday killed 20 militants and wounded eight soldiers, an army statement said.  The information is impossible to verify independently - Pakistan has blocked access to the battle zone.  AP

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