PESHAWAR, Aug 11: A young girl blew herself up at a police checkpost inside the historic Lahori Gate here on Thursday, killing an elderly woman hours after a bomb blast had killed five policemen and a 12-year-old boy. Another 41 people, including 16 policemen, were injured.

Peshawar SSP (operations) Ijaz Khan said reserved policemen were going in a van to Malik Saad Khan Police lines in the morning when a bomb detonated by remote control struck them on City Circular Road outside the Lahori Gate. The bomb had been planted in a pushcart.

About one and a half hours later the girl blew up a suicide vest that she was wearing, killing a 60-year-old woman and injuring 17 people.

An official at the Kotwali police station told Dawn that the old woman appeared to be an accomplice of the bomber. He said some local people had seen them trying at least twice to go to the blast site, but could not succeed because of police cordon and entered the Lahori Gate.

He said the girl avoided talking to police. Had she succeeded in crossing the checkpost she would have killed a number of media personnel and policemen, the official added.

Bomb disposal unit chief Shafaq Malik told reporters that half of the suicide vest the girl was wearing did not explode. The number of casualties could be much higher because there were a large number of people in the area.

He said the body of the bomber was intact, except of the right side of her abdomen which had been damaged. She can be easily identified.

Mr Malik said that eight kilograms of explosives were used in the first blast and over six kilograms in the suicide attack. A number of vehicles were destroyed and windows of nearby houses and shops smashed.

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