Four killed in Pakistan car bomb explosion

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Mardan, Apr 25 (UNI) At least four people were killed and 40 others injured in a powerful bomb explosion in a market near city police station in Northwestern Mardan town in Pakistan today.

A police Sub Inspector Furrukh Saeed, a hotel owner and a child are among the deceased, Pakistan's private Geo TV quoted a senior police official Tahir Khan as saying.

According to preliminary reports, the bomb was planted in a car which exploded, damaging the station and several nearby shops in the bazaar.

This was the first explosion since the new coalition government came into power after February 18 elections.

Security officials cordoned off the area, officials said, adding that there are at least 13 security personnel and seven passers-by among the injured.

Mr Tahir said a portion of the police station completely razed to ground while 15 to 16 shops were destroyed in the blast.

The blast broke a lull in attacks on security forces that had held since a new government came to power and showed militants an olive branch offering them talks if they give up arms.

More than 900 people have been killed in a series of explosions and suicide attacks in Pakistan since January 2007.

UNI XC SYU KP1521

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