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Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 10:57 UK

Pakistan blast 'kills 12' in Dera Ismail Khan

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The bomb targeted the vehicle of a senior police officer

At least 12 people have been killed in a bomb blast near a police vehicle in the north-western Pakistani town of Dera Ismail Khan.

Officials say the bomb was planted on a bicycle and targeted the town's deputy police superintendent, who was killed along with his guard and driver.

Nobody has yet said they carried out the attack.

Dera Ismail Khan borders tribal South Waziristan, where the army launched an anti-Taliban assault last year.

Many people fled to the town after the army launched its offensive against militant strongholds in the volatile region.

While there has been a relative lull in violence in Dera Ismail Khan since the offensive, correspondents say many insurgents simply shifted to the nearby regions of Orakzai and Khyber.

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"The target was Deputy Superintendent Iqbal Khan," a local police official told the BBC.

DSP Khan had been leaving his house in the Kutchi Painda Khan area of the city and getting into his car when the bomb was detonated by remote control, police said.

Hospital officials said the dead included women and children.

In a statement, President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the attack, and ordered an inquiry into the incident.


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