Couple kill themselves in attack
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DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan: The Pakistani Taliban said yesterday the group had sent a husband and wife suicide squad to carry out an attack on a police station in north-western Pakistan that killed 10 people, a rare instance of militants using a woman as a bomber.
The pair entered the police station in Dera Ismail Khan on Saturday and said they were there to lodge a complaint, said Imtiaz Shah, a senior police official.
Once inside, the two attacked with grenades and machineguns, triggering a five-hour stand-off with police.
Both attackers, including the woman, who was wearing a burka, eventually blew themselves up. They killed eight police officers and two civilians, said police official Mohammad Hussain.
“This shows how much we hate Pakistani security institutions,” Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan by phone from an undisclosed location.
Ahsan claimed it was the first time the group had used a female suicide bomber.
However, Pakistani officials said a female suicide bomber attacked a World Food Programme food distribution centre in Khar, north-western Pakistan, late last year, killing 45 people.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack but denied it was carried out by a female bomber.
Male suicide bombers often don burkas as a disguise. In 2007, officials initially claimed Pakistan’s first female suicide bomber had killed 14 people in the northwest town of Bannu. But the attacker was later identified as a man.
Women in their all-covering robes are seen as able to pass more easily through security. Male security officers are often hesitant to search women.
Also yesterday, a bomb planted in a motorcycle exploded near a police station in Multan, wounding eight people. – Sapa-AP