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Monday, April 5, 2010

U.S. Consulate in Pakistan Is Attacked by Militants

Attack on US consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan - 3 dead.

U.S. Consulate in Pakistan Is AttackedAt least three people have died after suspected militants attacked the US consulate in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar.

There were several explosions in the area near the consulate and buildings collapsed. A gun battle between police and the attackers followed.

Pakistan's main Taliban faction said it carried out the attack, and that the US consulate was the target.

Officials said the attack was well organised but order had been restored.

US officials also confirmed the consulate was the target of the attack, but it is unclear whether the building suffered any damage.

A police official quoted by news agency AP said a paramilitary soldier, a private security guard and a civilian died in the attack, but there were no reported US casualties.

The blasts came hours after 38 people died in a suspected suicide attack at a rally in another north-western town.

The target of the attack, in Timergara, Lower Dir district, was the Awami National Party (ANP), the ruling coalition in North West Frontier Province.

The Peshawar explosions took place near Shama Square, a major crossroads at the northern end of Peshawar's cantonment area, near the US consulate.

There are also some army barracks and offices of the army's Military Intelligence (MI) in the vicinity.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said two of the explosions were just 20m from the consulate, which is in a heavily fortified area.

Pakistani police officer Ghulam Hussain told AFP: "The target was certainly the American consulate but they didn't succeed in getting there.

"One of the suicide bombers blew himself up close to the gate. Police guarding the US consulate started retaliatory fire. More blasts took place. We have recovered unexploded material from four different points," he said.

Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq said his group had carried out the attack.

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