BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 14:57 GMT
Woman in Pakistan suicide bombing
Troops cordon off the area of a suicide bombing near a military post in Peshawar, 4 December
Police and soldiers sealed off the area
Police in Pakistan say a woman suicide bomber in a burka has blown herself up near an army checkpoint in Peshawar.

Islamist radicals have carried out a wave of suicide attacks in Pakistan in recent months, but this is thought to be the first by a woman since 9/11.

The attack happened in a neighbourhood which is home to senior retired and serving army officers.

Police say the bomber - thought to be an Afghan woman in her 30s - was the only casualty.

"She was carrying a basket over her head. She blew herself up as she came close to the checkpost," Peshawar police chief Tanvir-ul-Haq Sipra told Reuters news agency.

The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says the only previous suicide attack known to have been carried out by a woman in Pakistan took place in Karachi on 6 November 2000.

At least five people were killed in the blast in the offices of The Nation newspapaper.

Police never established who carried out the attack or what the motive might have been.

Lawless areas

Peshawar is a frontier city in north-west Pakistan adjoining the lawless tribal areas that run along the border with Afghanistan.

map

Many in the West have long regarded the tribal areas as a safe haven for Taleban and al-Qaeda militants.

But in recent months the militants have extended their activities to other areas of Pakistan, including Peshawar.

No group has said it was behind the latest attack.

In another incident, suspected militants kidnapped six Pakistani policemen in Bajaur, in the tribal areas.

Local officials are quoted as blaming the Taleban.

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific