20 killed in suicide attack in Pakistan

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A Muhammad

Peshawar, Jan 12 (PTI) At least 20 people, mostlysecurity personnel, were killed and 14 others wounded when asuicide bomber today rammed his explosives-laden vehicle intoa police station in northwest Pakistan, officials said.

The bomber targeted Miryan police station in Bannudistrict of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province this evening.

The explosion, which was heard from several kilometersaway, flattened the police station and a nearby mosque.

"At least 20 people are dead and toll is expected torise as some persons could be buried in the rubble of thepolice station and mosque," they said.

Local residents and rescue workers were removing thedebris with their hands.

Security officials said most of the dead werepolicemen and Frontier Corps personnel.

Several worshippers in the mosque died when its roofcaved in. The blast also destroyed part of a girls'' primaryschool.

Ambulances rushed to the site and took the injured andbodies to a nearby hospital.

Rescue operations were hampered by a power outage andthe lack of heavy machinery.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Muhammad IftikharKhan and provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussainconfirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Sources told PTI that militants from the adjoiningtribal belt had entered Bannu district with two explosives-laden vehicles, one of which was used to target the policestation.

Bannu borders the volatile North Waziristan and SouthWaziristan tribal regions that are considered strongholds ofthe Pakistani Taliban.

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