Taliban attacks US consulate convoy
Islamabad, May 20, 2011
Pakistan's Taliban said on Friday it had attacked a US consulate convoy in the volatile northwestern city of Peshawar, the latest in a surge of violence since US forces killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden earlier this month.
US embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said no Americans were killed or seriously wounded in the car bomb attack, which killed one Pakistani and wounded 10 people.
The attack took place on a main road in an area where many Western diplomats live and involved 50 kg (110 pounds) of explosives, police said. "There was an attack on a two-car convoy from the consulate in Peshawar. One car was hit. We are still investigating what actually happened," said Rodriguez.
Peshawar has seen many attacks by Taliban militants seeking to topple the US-backed Pakistani government and was home to bin Laden in the 1980s when Islamists were fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda and its ally, the Pakistani Taliban, have vowed to avenge the killing of bin Laden by US special forces on May 2, and, the group said it would target the Pakistani government and its Western allies.
"The diplomatic staff of all Nato countries are our targets," said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban spokesman, told Reuters via telephone from an undisclosed location.
"We will continue such attacks. Pakistan is our first target, and America is our second."
Peshawar police chief Liaqat Ali told reporters the booby-trapped car appeared to have been parked at the side of the road and exploded as one consulate vehicle was near, forcing it to slam into an electricity pole.
Police superintendent Ijaz Khan told Reuters two American security guards were slightly wounded, and were being treated at a US medical facility. - Reuters