Pakistan blast strikes US consulate convoy

Pakistani Taliban claim responsibility for bomb that leaves one passer-by dead and 10 other people wounded in Peshawar.

    The blast struck two US consulate vehicles in the Pakistani city of Peshawar [AFP]

    At least one person has been killed and 10 others wounded after an attack on two US consulate vehicles in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

    Pakistani police said a roadside bomb struck two vehicles carrying foreigners on Friday, killing a Pakistani passer-by.

    The US embassy later confirmed that two of its consulate vehicles had been targeted, and that one of them was badly damaged.

    "Two vehicles of the US consulate were on their way to the consulate when they were attacked," US embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said.

    "One vehicle was damaged. There is no death among our personnel and there are no serious injuries," he added.

    "Only one car was hit. In that car there were US citizen diplomats and a Pakistani driver."

    Ijaz Khan, a police superintendent, told the Reuters news agency that two American security guards were slightly wounded, and were being treated at a US medical facility.

    Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from the capital, Islamabad, said, "Because the vehicle was bomb proof, none of the people in the vehicle was killed."

    Liaqat Ali, Peshawar police chief, said a local man riding on a motorbike was killed in the blast, which took place on a main road in the city.

    'Revenge killing'

    The device was so powerful that it smashed glass up to several hundred metres away and damaged at least three buildings, our correspondent reported.

    The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    "The diplomatic staff of all NATO countries are our targets," Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban spokesman, told Reuters via telephone from an undisclosed location.

    "We will continue such attacks. Pakistan is our first target, and America is our second."

    Our correspondent said the claim of responsibility appeared to be "a case of revenge for the Osama bin Laden killing".

    "Al Jazeera had obtained an exclusive video a couple of days ago in which the Taliban warned of retaliation," Hyder said.

    Pakistan has witnessed a jump in violence since al-Qaeda and its Pakistani Taliban allies threatened to avenge the May 2, 2011, killing of Osama bin Laden in the country.

    The Taliban also claimed responsibility for a twin suicide bombing last week that killed at least 76 people, most of them paramilitary recruits.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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