Page last updated at 19:33 GMT, Saturday, 18 April 2009 20:33 UK

Suicide bomb hits Pakistan police

Pakistani police (generic image)
Most of the dead were members of the Pakistani security forces

A suicide bomber driving a pick-up truck has killed 27 people in an attack at a police checkpoint in north-western Pakistan, police say.

Most of the dead are reported to be police or soldiers and at least 62 people were injured.

Police say the bomber rammed his pick-up into a convoy at the checkpoint near the town of Hangu.

The Pakistani Taleban, which is based in the nearby tribal areas, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The militants, who are allied to al-Qaeda, have carried out numerous such attacks over the past two years.

Senior police official Farid Khan told Reuters the death toll could rise still further because at least seven of the injured were in a critical condition.

He said a local police chief was among the injured.

Pakistani Pime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has condemned the attack as a "cowardly act of terrorism" and promised to use an "iron hand" against militants.


The attack happened at 1610 local time (1010 GMT) at Doaba.


"The bomber was driving a pick-up truck which he rammed into a convoy passing by a security checkpost," said Mr Khan.

A spokesman for Pakistani Taleban chief Baitullah Mehsud told news agencies by telephone that militants would continue its attacks on security forces.

"It was retaliation for the US drone strikes and security forces will have to see more attacks because our people have suffered many losses in the missile attacks," he said.

Militants based in Pakistan's north-west have launched attacks with increasing frequency in recent months.

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