ISLAMABAD — A suicide bomber attacked a bakery in Pakistan’s northwest yesterday, killing 18 people, and another bomb in the volatile region left six others dead. The attacks were the latest in a wave of bloodshed to hit Pakistan since the US raid that killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
Also yesterday, a Pakistani security official said authorities are nearly certain that a recent US missile strike killed Al Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri.
The suicide bomber struck the bakery in a neighborhood were army personnel live in the town of Nowshera, police said. At least two soldiers were among the dead.
Earlier in the day, a bomb exploded at a bus stop in the Matani area of the northwest, killing six people and wounding several others, officials said. It appeared to have been planted at the bus stop, as opposed to a suicide attack.
There was no claim of responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban have claimed credit for other recent attacks, saying they were avenging bin Laden’s death in the May 2 raid.
Kashmiri is the latest Al Qaeda leader to be killed, though there were still lingering doubts after the missile strike late Friday. US officials have described Kashmiri, 47, as Al Qaeda’s military operations chief in Pakistan.
The Pakistani security official said yesterday the weekend reports of Kashmiri’s death were “95 percent confirmed.’’