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Photo shows the vehicle of the Frontier Constabulary Commandant, which officials said was the intended target of the bomber, being towed away from the site.—Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi

PESHAWAR: At least 12 people were killed and 31 injured Friday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a Frontier Constabulary convoy in a high security area of northwestern Peshawar city, police said.

The bomber blew himself up near a military checkpost, barely 500 yards from the US consulate, on Peshawar’s Fakhr-i-Alam Road, which connects the city’s Mall Road and Cantonment Road.

The Corps headquarters is also located half a kilometre away from the site of the attack, for which the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.

The bomber intended to target FC Commandant Abdul Majeed Marwat, security officials said. The senior paramilitary official, however, managed to escape the attack relatively unhurt.

Police Superintendent Mohammad Faisal said eight to 10 kilograms of explosive were used in the blast, he added.

Officials at Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital said they had received six bodies, and two more had succumbed to wounds, raising the death toll to 12.

Meanwhile, officials at the Combined Military Hospital confirmed they had received four bodies, while 17 patients were being treated for injuries from the blast. The dead included an Army soldier, an FC soldier, and two civilians, the official said, requesting not to be named.

Speaking from an undisclosed location via telephone, spokesman for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they had targeted the FC for their repeated operations against the Taliban and tribal people.

Jets pound militant hideouts in Orakzai

Meanwhile, Pakistani fighter jets bombarded suspected militant hideouts in upper Orakzai tribal region, killing up to eight militants, security officials claimed.

According to the official, who requested not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media, the jets destroyed three hideouts belonging to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in Mamozai area of upper Orakzai, believed to be a stronghold of Hakimullah-led militants.

The official said that they had reports of about eight militants killed and scores of others injured.

In a separate incident, militants targeted a security forces vehicle with a remote-controlled bomb in Kurram Agency, wounding four soldiers and damaging the vehicle.

The security officials confirmed that the incident had taken place at Shaheedano Dhand area of Central Kurram Agency.