Woman bomber, roadside bomb kill seven in NW Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:22am EDT

Police are framed through the torn canvas of a vehicle, which was transporting police officials, after it was hit by a bomb in Peshawar August 11, 2011. REUTERS/Khuram Parvez

Police are framed through the torn canvas of a vehicle, which was transporting police officials, after it was hit by a bomb in Peshawar August 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Khuram Parvez

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A burqa-clad woman suicide bomber struck in the heart of Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Thursday, killing another woman hours after a bomb blast killed five policemen in the same area.

The bombings occurred near a police check post in the city, where al Qaeda and Taliban militants often stage attacks. Police said the attacks could have been coordinated.

Female suicide bombers are rare in Pakistan, and women often pass through checkpoints without being searched in this conservative country.

The suicide bomber, which police said was around 25 years old, was wearing an explosive-laden vest. She threw a hand grenade before blowing herself near the checkpoint, police official Tariq Omar told Reuters.

Witness Yasir Ali said the woman's vest did not fully detonate, which limited the number of casualties to one passer-by. "She was on foot," said Ali, a lorry driver, said.

Hospital officials said a child was killed and 16 people were wounded in the earlier attack on the police lorry, which was hit by a remote-controlled bomb concealed in a push-cart.

Taliban militants have waged a campaign of suicide bombings across Pakistan, killing hundreds of people in recent years.

In December, a burqa-clad bomber killed more than 40 people in an attack on a food distribution center in Bajaur tribal region near the Afghan border.

(Additional reporting and writing by Zeeshan Haider, and Kuram Parvaz and Fayaz Aziz in Peshawar; Editing by Chris Allbritton and Miral Fahmy)

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