Homicide Bomb at Police Station Kills 7 in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - A homicide bomber rammed a truck loaded with explosives into a police station in Pakistan on Sunday, killing a child and six other civilians, police said.

The attack at Saddar police station in the Kohat region wounded 26 people, said Abdullah Khan, the deputy inspector general in Kohat.

Twin homicide attacks in the same region Saturday targeted refugees who were fleeing the Orakzai tribal area where Pakistan's army is fighting militants. That attack killed 41 people as they lined up to register for food and relief supplies.

The victims of the police station bombing were mostly civilians, said Dilawar Khan, the Kohat police chief. Six of the wounded were police.

The truck was loaded with up to 250 kilograms of explosives, he said. It struck a concrete barrier in front of the building, which was heavily damaged as was an adjoining school.

The victims were among around 200,000 people who have left the Orakzai region along the Afghan border since the end of last year, when the Pakistan army began offensive ground and air operations against militants based in the remote, tribally administered region.

The attacks in Kohat were a reaction to the army offensive in Orakzai, Diliwar Khan said.

The registration point in Kohat was managed by the local administration, but sometimes used by foreign humanitarian groups to deliver aid. There was no claim of responsibility for Saturday's bombings, which is not unusual when ordinary Pakistanis are killed.

The United Nations temporarily suspended work helping displaced people in Kohat and neighboring Hangu as a result of Saturday's attack.

The registration point -- essentially a small building in a dusty field -- may have been hit to persuade people not to have any contact with the local administration or foreign relief groups.

The bombers were men disguised in burqas, the all-encompassing veil worn by conservative Muslim women, allowing them to get close to the building without arousing suspicion, said Abdullah Khan.

Government official Dilawar Khan Bangash said 41 people were killed and 62 were wounded in the attack.

The tempo of the operations in Orakzai has picked up since March, with frequent aerial bombardment. Nearly 50,000 people have left in the last month.

In the tribal region Sunday, one soldier and 13 militants were killed in a clash in Sangra area, said Jahanzeb Khan, a government official in Orakzai.

Al Qaeda and Taliban militants based in the northwest have carried out near-daily attacks over the last 18 months in Pakistan, seeking to overthrow its Western-allied government and stop it from fighting them. The blasts have killed several thousand people, but not deterred the army.

Most of the attacks are directed at security or government installations, but civilian targets have also been hit.