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Twin Pakistan blasts wound 23

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iol pic wld PAKISTAN-BLAST-_0409_11

Reuters

Security officials cordon off an area at the site of a bomb blast on the outskirts of Islamabad. Picture: Mian Khursheed

Islamabad - At least 23 people have been wounded in two blasts in different parts of Pakistan, officials said Friday, including two policemen.

The officers were among seven hurt in a motorcycle bomb attack targeting a police van in the northwestern town of Bannu, which has a history of violence, much of it targeting security forces.

“A bomb planted in a motorbike parked along the roadside went off as a police van passed by it, wounding seven people including two policemen and five passers-by,” a local police official Aslam Khan told AFP.

Earlier, a blast outside a restaurant in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which neighbours Islamabad, wounded at least 16 people.

It is the latest violence to hit since the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended a ceasefire called to help peace talks with the government.

No group has claimed responsibility for the Rawalpindi attack, but police officials said the restaurant owner had received extortion demands from the Pakistani Taliban.

Stop-start talks to end the TTP's seven-year insurgency have been under way since February, with little clear progress made.

Since the TTP rose up against the Pakistani state in 2007, more than 6 800 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks around the country, according to an AFP tally.

Sapa-AFP


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