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Twin suicide bombs kill 24 in Quetta

Fire-fighters extinguish a burning vehicle at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Quetta on September 7, 2011. — Photo by AFP

QUETTA: Twin suicide bombs targeting security forces responsible for the recent capture of senior Al Qaeda operatives killed 24 people and wounded 82 others in southwest Pakistan 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.

The attack on the home of deputy chief Farrukh Shahzad wounded him, killed his wife and injured at least one of his children, security officials said.

“The death toll has gone up and 24 deaths are now confirmed. There were at least 82 people wounded and taken to different hospitals. We have reports that at least seven of them are seriously hurt,” said Shakil.

Flames from the blast engulfed security vehicles and motorcycles parked outside Shahzad's residence, where paramilitary forces had been waiting to escort the deputy inspector-general to work.

Two children and at least 11 troops from the Frontier Corps and army — including an army officer — were among the dead, Shakil said.

A mosque and official residences nearby were also badly damaged, he said.

Shakil said the car had been packed with 50 kilograms of explosives. He said the head of one of the bombers was found, along with an identity card that indicated he could have been from Afghanistan's Kunduz province.

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, the main town of Balochistan province bordering Afghanistan and Iran, along with two other high-ranking operatives, after US and Pakistani spy agencies joined forces.

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


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