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Pakistan: 10 killed in attacks
July 04, 2007 22:54 IST
Last Updated: July 04, 2007 23:32 IST
Ten people, including six security personnel, were killed and five others injured on Wednesday in two separate attacks on army and police vehicles in Pakistan, which officials suspect could be a fallout of the crackdown on Lal Masjid clerics and their students in Islamabad.
Defence spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad told reporters in Islamabad that a suicide bomber attacked an army convoy going from Mir Ali in North Waziristan to Bannu, a major city near the tribal region.
Four army personnel were killed on the spot while two seriously injured later died in hospital.
Four other soldiers were also injured in the attack, he said. The spokesman said no group claimed responsibility for the attack, but "we are investigating as to who carried it out."
He, however, did not rule out the possibility of any links to the government crackdown on the Lal Masjid clerics and their militant students.
Minister for State for Information Tariq Azim told the media in Islamabad that the Lal Masjid clerics, Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rashid Ghazi, have been in contact with some militant leaders in tribal areas to carry out attacks to protest the crackdown on their mosque and madrassas in Islamabad.
He said their monitored phone calls revealed that they wanted such attacks to take place. In the second incident, at least four civilians were killed and a senior police officer was injured in a rocket attack on his car in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province on Wednesday, police said.
Unidentified men fired the rocket at the vehicle of District Police Officer Mazhar ul Haq Kakakhel in Mingora, a city some 165 km northwest of Peshawar, at 6.15 pm local time.
The rocket hit the car, killing four passersby near the local police station and injuring the police official.
This attack is also suspected to be fallout of the military crackdown on the Lal Masjid.
No group claimed responsibility of the attack, police said.
Meanwhile, thousands of people staged a rally near Mingora in support of the Lal Masjid's clerics and students.
The rally was organised by the banned group Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhamamdi.
The leader of the group Maulana Fazal Mulla said his supporters will continue to protest unless the crackdown against the students of Lal Masjid and its affiliated seminary Jamia Hafsa is stopped.