Twin blasts rock Pakistan

2011-09-07 08:06
Quetta - Twin suicide bombs targeting security forces responsible for this week capturing senior al-Qaeda operatives killed at least 19 people and wounded 44 others in southwest Pakistan on Wednesday, police said.

One attacker detonated his bomb-laden car outside the residence of the deputy chief of the Frontier Corps in Quetta city, before a second attacker blew himself up inside the house, said senior police official Hamid Shakil.

"At least 19 people have been killed and 44 were wounded, the death toll may still rise," he said, adding that the deputy chief had been injured and his wife was killed in the attack, while two children were also among the dead.

He said that seven troops from the Frontier Corps including an army officer had also been killed.

The residence of the deputy inspector general is close to other government buildings and official residencies in the city of Quetta, the main town of Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

The Frontier Corps is Pakistan's paramilitary force. On Monday the army announced the corps had arrested a senior al-Qaeda leader believed to have been responsible for planning attacks on the United States, Europe and Australia.

Younis al-Mauritani was picked up in the suburbs of Quetta along with two other high-ranking operatives after US and Pakistani spy agencies joined forces, according to the Pakistan army.

It named the two other senior operatives as Abdul Ghaffar al-Shami and Messara al-Shami.

The arrests signalled another blow to the global terror network, four months after al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by covert US forces, leading to a souring of ties between allies Islamabad and Washington.

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