Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

'Eight killed' in Pakistan attack

Police carry a person injured by the suicide bomb
The attack took place in a high security area

At least eight people have been killed in a suspected suicide bombing in north-western Pakistan, police say.

Reports say the bomber targeted policemen in the town of Mardan, 110km (70 miles) north-west of the country's capital, Islamabad.

A police officer said that the attacker was "on foot and when he was stopped by police he blew himself up". About 20 people were injured, officials say.

Pakistan has seen a surge in suicide bombings in the past year.

'Civilians killed'

Mardan police chief Iqbal Khan told reporters that it was a suicide attack.

A local police official told the BBC that four of the dead were policemen.

A number of civilians were also killed, police say. Some of the injured are in a serious condition and the death toll may rise.

The policemen were on duty in the office of Mardan's deputy inspector-gen of police, Akhtar Ali Shah.

He is believed to have been the target of the bombing, which took place in a high security area in the town.

"Witnesses have told us that the bomber was on foot. He probably tried to enter my office building and was stopped. Then there was an explosion," Mr Shah told Express TV.

"At the time of the explosion, I was sitting in my vehicle and we were about to leave. My escort vehicle had just moved out and we were about to follow. The explosion took place when the escort vehicle had reached the gate."

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast.

Mardan has seen previous suicide attacks, but not in recent months.

A suspected suicide attack in the town in May killed at least 13 people and wounded more than 20. In April a bomb in a police station killed four people.


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