PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A suicide bomber in a rickshaw detonated his explosives near a group of police officers in northwest Pakistan’s main city of Peshawar yesterday, killing three people, police said.
The attack was the latest in a string of strikes that has killed more than 300 people over the past six weeks. The bloodshed appears aimed at distracting the government from its offensive against the Taliban in the South Waziristan tribal region.
Five other people were wounded in the blast at an intersection on the main road that circles the city, police official Shaukat Khan said. Television footage showed a crane lifting the rickshaw’s frame to clear the road.
The bomber was probably heading to a more crowded area but set off his explosives when police stopped the rickshaw to check it, senior Peshawar police officer Liaquat Ali Khan said. The attack killed a police constable, the rickshaw driver, and a passerby, police said.
Peshawar has been struck several times during the recent surge of strikes. A late October explosion in the city leveled a market, killing at least 112 people in the deadliest attack to hit the country since 2007. Militants have also stepped up attacks in other areas near the Afghan border.
The government has pledged to press ahead with the offensive despite the assaults.