DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – The Pakistani Taliban said Sunday the group had sent a husband and wife suicide squad to carry out an attack on a police station in northwestern Pakistan that killed 10 people, a rare instance of militants using a woman as a bomber.
The pair entered the police station in Kolachi on Saturday and said they were there to lodge a complaint, said Imtiaz Shah, a senior police official. Once inside, the two attacked with grenades and machine guns, triggering a five-hour standoff with police.
Both attackers, including the woman wearing an all-covering robe known as a burqa, eventually blew themselves up. They killed eight police officers and two civilians, said Mohammad Hussain, another police official.
Ahsan claimed it was the first time the militant group had used a female suicide bomber.
However, Pakistani officials said a female suicide bomber wearing a burqa attacked a World Food Program food distribution center in northwestern Pakistan late last year, killing 45 people.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack in Khar, the main city in the Bajur tribal area, but never claimed it was carried out by a female bomber. Still, that was believed to be the group's first attack by a female suicide bomber.
Male suicide bombers often don the burqa as a disguise. In 2007, officials initially claimed Pakistan's first female suicide bomber had killed 14 people in the northwest town of Bannu. But the attacker was later identified as a man.
Islamic militants in Iraq have used female suicide bombers several times because women in their all-covering robes are seen as able to pass more easily through security. Male security officers are often hesitant to search women.
Also Sunday, a bomb planted in a motorcycle exploded near a police station in the central city of Multan, said Zahid Zaman, a senior government official.