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Pakistan urged to focus on 'internal enemies' as bombs rock northwest

At least 11 people, including five police officers, were killed in two separate bombings in Pakistan's volatile northwestern region Saturday.
Security officials examine a police vehicle at the site of car bombing in Badaber, near Peshawar, on Saturday. ((Mohammad Iqbal/Associated Press))
At least 11 people, including five police officers, were killed in two separate bombings in Pakistan's volatile northwestern region Saturday.

The first occurred as police were investigating a parked car containing a body in the area of Badaber, on the outskirts of Peshawar.

"They found the white car. They also saw a body inside, but when they were pulling it out, the car bomb went off," local police chief Rahim Shah said, calling the setup a "new technique."

Residents and police had recently evicted militants from the area, prompting threats of retaliation.

In the second instance, four people died in the village of Tirah when a suicide bomber detonated himself outside a mosque after being prevented from entering.

No one has claimed responsibility, but the mosque was serving as a headquarters for the militant group Ansarul Islam. The group is a rival to another militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Islam.

The deepening political turmoil has been a source of concern for several Western countries, which are urging Pakistan to crack down on militants. Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters are believed to use pockets of Pakistan's northwest as bases to plan attacks on U.S. and NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

On Friday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said it was "vital" for Pakistani politicians to stop feuding and "unite against the mortal threat that Pakistan faces, which is a threat from its internal enemies."

Pakistani governments and civilians have also been targeted.

Last week, international outrage erupted after an attack in Lahore on a visiting Sri Lankan cricket team. Seven Pakistanis, including six police officers, died in that attack, and several cricketers were injured.

With files from the Associated Press

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