At least five people were killed and more than a dozen injured on Monday by a pair of bombs in northwestern Pakistan that targeted security forces, officials said.
The first attack took place Monday morning near Peshawar, the capital of the restive northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where security forces are battling the Taliban insurgency. Rasheed Khan, a deputy superintendent of the Peshawar police, was killed when a suicide bomber attacked a police vehicle in the Bahadar Kalay neighborhood on the outskirts of the city.
His driver, a security guard and a pedestrian also were killed in the explosion that wounded 10 others, police said.
Hours after the first attack, a homemade bomb targeted a police vehicle in another suburb of Peshawar. One police official was killed and three others were wounded, authorities said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility in the attacks. Investigators suspect the involvement of Taliban insurgents.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the violence . In a statement released by his office, Mr. Gilani said police officers were sacrificing their lives to protect the public and reiterated his government’s commitment to fight terrorism.
About 15 pounds of explosives were used in the first attack, Shafqat Malik, an official with the bomb disposal squad in Peshawar, said in a telephone interview. “It was a targeted attack, very well planned,” he said. “The explosive used was of very high quality. Pellets were also used in the making of the suicide jacket to cause maximum impact.”
The suicide bomber was described as a teenager whose severed head was recovered from the site of the attack.
Mr. Khan, the targeted police officer, was involved in several investigations and operations against the Taliban insurgents, officials said.