PESHAWAR - A policeman was killed and 17 others were injured when a roadside bomb blast hit a police mobile in Peshawar on Saturday.  According to police sources, a remote-controlled device was planted near Gul Bahar police station on Main GT road and its target was the vehicle of Mardan police which was transferring detainees from Mardan jail to Peshawar. The blast badly damaged the police van while two rickshaws and a car were also damaged.

Heavy contingent of police and bomb disposal squad rushed to the site and cordoned off the area. Around six kilograms of explosives were used in the attack, bomb disposal squad officials said.  Police launched a search operation in the area. However, no arrest has been made.  Soon after the incident, Edhi ambulances and Rescue 1122 staff reached the blast site and shifted the injured to Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar. Among the wounded were: four policemen, six detainees and seven passersby.  It bears mentioning here that Saturday’s attack was the fourth of its kind in the last four days as similar attacks were also reported on Friday and Thursday.

AFP adds: A taxi driver was killed when a mortar bomb hit his cab in the upmarket Hayatabad area of Peshawar on Friday night, police official Tahir Ayub said. Ayub said the headquarters of the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary in the area was apparently the target of the mortar bombs fired from the neighbouring Khyber tribal region. “However, three mortars landed in open spaces while three others hit a house, a taxi cab and a shop,” he said, adding that at least four people were wounded in the attack.

Peshawar has long been on the frontline of violence blamed on Taliban militants opposed to Islamabad’s alliance with the United States.

Pakistan has battled the militancy for years, with more than 3,000 soldiers killed in the battle.

According to an AFP tally, around 5,000 people have been killed in militant attacks across the country since July 2007.

There were about 120 bomb attacks in Pakistan in 2011, up on the 96 bomb blasts in 2010, but far lower than violence in 2009 when there were 203 bombings across the country, according to an AFP tally