BANNU, Dec 24: Four security personnel were killed and 18 others injured when a suicide bomber rammed a car filled with explosives into a paramilitary camp here on Saturday.

This was the second major terrorist attack in two days in the restive region.

Official sources said the suicide bomber rammed the explosive-laden double-cabin Surf vehicle into the rear portion of the boundary wall of the Tochi Scouts headquarters in Bannu at around 5:30am.

(AFP quoted police sources as saying six security men died in the attack.

Local intelligence officials feared the death toll could rise.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack on the camp, which is a base for Frontier Corps troops, also known as the Tochi Scouts, before and after deployment in North Waziristan.

“We claim responsibility for the attack, which was launched to avenge the killing of one of our commanders Taj Gul in a US drone strike in South Waziristan last month,” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said.)

The injured, four of them critical, were taken to the Bannu CMH.

The dead were identified as Lance Naiks Ghaffar Ali, Alamgir, head clerk Aslam Khan and gardener Sharmatullah.

The injured were identified as Khial Saif, Osman Ali, Masub Khan, Rozwanullah, Kamal Khan, Luqman Zeb, Saeed Khan, Fateh Haider, Abdul Wahid, Aslam Gul, Jamal Hussain, Basharat Hussain, Osman Ghani, Tehsildar Khan, Zahid Hussain, Altaf Hussain, Noor Saeed Khan and a passer-by Ihsanul Haq.

The blast damaged the windowpanes and doors of several nearby buildings and shops. Cracks also developed in nearby buildings.

According to bomb disposal squad, about 500kg of explosives were used in the attack.

Police recovered parts of the damaged vehicles. Security personnel cordoned off the area and arrested 13 suspects during the search operation.

They were shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

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