Militants Take Aim at U.S. Consulate in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Militants mounted an assault against the United States Consulate in this northern Pakistani city on Monday, using a powerful bomb and rocket launchers in a multi-pronged attack, said a senior Pakistani intelligence officer.

There were no casualties inside the consulate, the officer said, several guards outside were killed. Pakistani media reported that another eight were injured. A spokesman for the American Embassy in Islamabad, the capital, confirmed the attack.

Pakistani television networks showed footage of a giant cloud of dust and debris rising from the Saddar area where the consulate is located shortly after 1 p.m. Local media reported that there had been three blasts. Authorities cordoned off the area and gunfire was heard long after the explosions, which seemed to indicate a siege-like situation.

The blast was a chilling reminder of just how close the militants are still able get to their targets in Pakistan, where months of operations by the Pakistani military in Taliban-controlled northern areas have dramatically reduced violence.

On March 31, a militant who identified himself as Qari Hussein, the head of the suicide bomber training for the Taliban, spoke to a Pakistani reporter for Dawn, an English language daily, saying that the Taliban would soon launch attacks on important and sensitive targets in order “to refresh memories of the attack on the Khost base.” That attack, on an American military base in Afghanistan, killed eight Americans , seven of them Central Intelligence Agency officers.

To read more, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/world/asia/06pstan.html

Militants Take Aim at U.S. Consulate in Pakistan

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