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Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 09:43 UK

Peshawar tense in bombs aftermath

A man runs from the scene of the Peshawar blasts, 28 May 2009
The Peshawar bombs were detonated by timers in a market, police say

Authorities in the Pakistani city of Peshawar have banned public gatherings a day after at least 10 people were killed in two separate attacks.

Restrictions have also been put on motorists as two motorcycles, a car and a rickshaw were used to plant bombs.

Hours earlier, the Pakistani Taliban warned of attacks across the country.

Meanwhile, preliminary investigations by police have blamed security lapses for Wednesday's attack in Lahore which killed at least 24 people.

More than 200 people were injured in the attack which targeted buildings belonging to the police and intelligence agency, the ISI.

Pakistani Taliban's deputy Hakimullah Mehsud told the BBC that the attack in Lahore was in response to the army's operation in the Swat valley.

Tight security

The government in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) has imposed a ban on gatherings of five or more people in Peshawar, while restrictions have also been put on motorists.

All educational institutions in the city have also been closed down. Correspondents say that many people in the city are gripped by fear.

Taleban commander Hakimullah Mehsud
Hakimullah Mehsud says the attack is to avenge the fighting in Swat

In the initial attack in Peshawar, six people were killed and about 70 injured when two bombs exploded at a busy market.

Shortly after, a suicide bomber attacked a military checkpoint on the city outskirts, killing four soldiers.

Shops and vehicles were damaged and television images showed men trying to douse flames, while injured people were being dragged out of the market to safety.

Gunmen started shooting in the narrow alleyways as police arrived.

Police later said two suspected militants had been killed and two arrested.

While the gunfight was going on, a suicide bomber drove a car laden with explosives at a military checkpoint on the outskirts of the city.

Peshawar is the capital of the NWFP and has seen an increase in violence in the past three weeks.

Security lapses

Security has been tightened across Pakistan and the capital, Islamabad, has been put on red alert.

Government offices, army and police bases and hotels with Western links are all feared to be likely targets.

Meanwhile, investigators in Lahore have submitted a preliminary report about Wednesday's attack on the police emergency response headquarters.

The report points out lapses in security which allowed the attackers to get close enough to the building to carry out the devastating attack.

Taliban militants have warned of more in the coming days across Pakistan in response to the army's operation in the Swat valley, near the Afghan border.

Also on Thursday, a bomb killed at least three people and injured several in the town of Dera Ismail Khan, about 186 miles (300km) south of Peshawar.

The apparent co-ordination of the attacks, coming so soon after Lahore and the Taliban warning, could herald a new wave of violence in Pakistani cities, says the BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad.

In his telephone interview with the BBC, Taliban deputy commander for Orakzai, Hakimullah Mehsud, said that citizens should "evacuate their cities".

He warned of further attacks on "government targets" in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Multan.

The army is claiming sweeping victories against Taliban insurgents in the Swat valley.

It says that more than 1,000 militants have been killed in the past month. There has been no independent confirmation of the figure.

The army also says that it has recaptured 70% of Swat's main city, Mingora, and expects to secure it in a matter of days.



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