3 dead as suicide bomber targets US Consulate vehicle

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Pakistan
Islamabad, Sep 3: In a major flare up, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a US Consulate vehicle in northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing himself and two persons and injuring nearly 20 others, including two American nationals.

The Consulate vehicle was attacked as it left the compound and was travelling through a diplomatic area that also houses office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at Aabdara Road in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The area has offices of several foreign organisations. The bomber, who police said was carrying almost 100 kg of explosives including mortar-rounds, rammed into the US Consulate car, triggering a massive blast which reverberated to the city, leaving two dead and wounding nearly 20 others.

Initially, provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said two Americans were killed in the attack, but the US Embassy denied that any Americans were among the dead.

A statement issued by the US State Department confirmed that a vehicle of the US Consulate was hit in the terrorist attack. "Two US personnel and two Pakistani staff of the Consulate were injured and are receiving medical treatment. No US Consulate personnel were killed," the statement said.

TV footage showed the blast left the vehicle smoldering. Police later recovered half-burnt US passport from the car. Officials at the Khyber Teaching Hospital said they had received two bodies and 19 injured.

Two women, two children and a policeman were among the injured. The officials described the condition of two persons as serious. The UN also issued a statement, saying all employees of the UNHCR were safe.

PTI

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