Pakistan Militants Attack Administrative Compound

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Militants disguised as tribal police officers and wearing suicide vests mounted a coordinated attack on a central office of the tribal administration in Peshawar on Monday, killing five people and wounding seven others.

The attackers struck the offices of the political agent of Khyber Tribal Agency along the Afghan border, whose main administrator works from an office in Peshawar. The agent is the senior administrative officer in Khyber.

One bomber set off his explosives vest near the main entrance to the complex, killing one guard and wounding five others.

At least two others entered the compound and started firing indiscriminately, resulting in an exchange of fire with police officers defending the compound that killed four members of the paramilitary. Some were shot to death and others were killed in an explosion after a second attacker triggered his suicide vest.

"One of them was shot and wounded before he exploded himself, bringing down the roof of control room and adjacent waiting room," said Imran Shahid, the senior police superintendent for Peshawar.

A police official told The Associated Press that four militants were involved in the attack and that they appeared to be trying to free prisoners who arrived at the compound in a van just before the attack.

The police chief said the bomber appeared to be headed for the office of the political agent. "The political agent was the obvious target. He is safe," he said.

A deputy administrator of the tribal region was wounded when the roof of the building came crashing down on him, another security official said.

The deputy administrator had convened a meeting of tribal elders from the region to discuss the security situation, the security official, who asked not to be named, said.

An official with the bomb disposal squad said the attackers wore explosive vests that weighed about 16 pounds each.


This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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