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17 hurt in bomb blasts in Pakistan

November 18, 2006 17:07 IST

A suicide bomber who "always talked of jihad" blew himself up in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, injuring two policemen, while 15 persons were hurt in a blast near Lahore's Gaddafi Cricket Stadium.

A suicide bomber, strapped with explosives and believed to be heading towards the Peshawar airport, triggered the blast on Friday when he was apprehended by a police patrol.

The bomber who has been identified as 20-year-old Nadeem, an electrician by profession and resident of Pishtakhara Bala, detonated the bomb near a police van at Fayaz Khalil Shaheed Chowk, Peshawar operations SSP Iftikhar Khan was quoted as saying by the Daily Times.

"Nadeem was killed in the attack and two policemen sitting in the vehicle were injured," he said adding, police found an identity card from the spot.

"Nadeem's father Sarzameen Khan and his brother have been arrested and handed over to the Crime Investigation Agency for interrogation," M Azhar, duty officer at the Pishtakhara police station, said.

Nadeem's neighbour Ahmad Khan said Nadeem always talked about jihad. However, he did not know whether Nadeem was affiliated with any militant organisation.

Peshawar police chief Haji Habibur Rehman claimed that the policemen were not Nadeem's target. "Nadeem attacked the police when they suspected his movement," he said.

Also in Lahore, 15 persons were injured when a bomb exploded in a garbage bin near a bus stop some 500 yards away from the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium on Friday evening. 

Lahore police had earlier claimed that two people were killed and another 13 were injured in the explosion, but retracted the statement later, saying that only 15 people were injured in the incident, the Daily Times said.

Bomb Disposal Squad officials said the locally-made bomb was a timed device and weighed 1 kg. Punjab Additional IG Khawaja Khalid Farooq said the bomb was similar to the one that exploded in Liberty Market on August 29 in which four people were killed.

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