Pakistan Suicide Bomber Kills 13

It came a day after 55 people died in attacks on the eastern city of Lahore and follows threats by Taliban militants to send thousands of bombers on suicide missions in revenge for a government offensive. Yesterday's explosion near a military checkpoint in Mingora, the largest city in the Swat Valley, was claimed by Taliban extremists. "Our men carried out these attacks and more strikes will continue all over the country because the entire Pakistan has become a colony of the United States,"" Taliban spokesman Tariq Azam told Reuters by telephone. Witnesses said the bomber was driving a three-wheeled rickshaw. Major General Ashfaq Nadeem said two soldiers and two policemen were among the dead. "Such acts cannot demoralise us. I want to assure the people of Swat that we will continue fighting till the last Taliban are eliminated," he said. Speaking from his hospital bed, Zia-ur-Rehman said he was travelling in another rickshaw when the blast shook the street and violently jolted.