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11 killed in two suicide bombings, shootout in Pakistan
hussain | March 4, 2008 at 03:12 amby
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In the first incident, at least six persons were killed and 14 injured in two suicide bombings outside Naval War College in Lahore, the capital of the largest Punjab province, while another five, including two kidnappers, were killed in Lakki Marwat district of the troubled North West Frontier Province (NWFP) during shootout between police and militants.
According to chief of Lahore police, Malik Muhammad Iqbal, six persons were confirmed dead as two suicide bombers struck the Naval War College building in posh Upper Mall area of Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan.
The injured were rushed to the local military hospital. The naval police and army troops cordoned off the area, as the Naval War College building caught fire. The blasts were so intense that adjoining areas of the site of the incident were reportedly jolted and bangs were heard far and wide.
Eyewitnesses said that blasts occurred in the parking lot of the college building at a time when classes were going on inside the premises, located in the area where mostly official residences of senior government officials are located.
In the second incident, the police got three kidnapped persons released and arrested one of the kidnappers after shootout with the outlaws. Five persons, including three kidnappers, a policeman and a passerby were killed in the exchange of fire.
The exchange of fire started when police intercepted the militants, who had kidnapped three persons including an elected local representative and his two colleagues but released the kidnapped persons after talks with the local residents.
According to Saeedullah Marwat, head of Lakki Marwat police, the mayor of a union council was on his way to a nearby village on the outskirts of Lakki Marwat town when militants kidnapped them at around 10 a.m. (local time). On getting information about the incident, the villagers chased the kidnappers and police cordoned off the road in the area.
Because of police cordon, the kidnappers got stuck in a rivulet and released the kidnapped persons after talks with the chasing villagers. However, a shootout between the police and kidnappers ensued, which left one policeman, three kidnappers and a passerby dead while one of the kidnappers was arrested by police. The police officer said that the arrested apparently looked an Uzbek.
Besides suicide bombings and rocket attacks, incidents of kidnapping for ransom are also on the rise in the NWFP. Three officials of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission were also kidnapped 25 days ago while three persons were kidnapped in the official vehicle of a law-enforcement officer one week ago from Lakki Marwat district. Police have so far failed in recovering the six kidnapped persons.
Nearly 100 persons were killed in two suicide attacks in the NWFP on Friday and Sunday.
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