A series of three bomb blasts rocked the U.S. consulate in the highly security zone in Peshawar in rush hour on Monday, killing at least 10 people including 4 attackers, 2 security Personnel and 3 foreigners.
Sources said at least three blasts took place near the U.S. consulate situated on Khyber road in Saddar area of Peshawar. The series of these three blasts occurred within 20 minutes and shook the city followed by extreme firing.
The second and third blasts occurred in vehicles at 1:31 and 1:35 respectively while first blast occurred outside a consulate’s Check Post.
The blasts were so intense that the mobile phones services were closed for some time. The security forces had cordoned off the area after the blast. Ambulances with their sirens blaring rushed to the area. The Khyber Road, where the US Consulate is situated, has been closed.
One witness said it appeared to be a suicide attack. “I saw attackers in two vehicles. Some of them carried rocket-propelled grenades. They first opened fire at security personnel at the post near the consulate and then blasts went off,” city resident said.
The U.S. Embassy said it was an attack on their consulate but it declined to give any other details. The US Consulate official said the Consulate is garnering information about the blasts.
Journalists were asked to keep away from the area by security forces who feared more blasts. Defunct Tehreek -e-Taliban Pakistan Taliban claimed the responsibility for the series of blasts near the U.S. consulate in Peshawar.
Senior Provincial Minister Bashir Bilour while talking to media men at the site said four attackers were among the dead.
“They brought in a lot of explosives and some are being disposed off. They were well-armed,” Bilour said. “They came in two vehicles. The militants were well-equipped. It was a well-organised attack,” Bashir Ahmed Bilour added.
“The situation is now under control,” he said, adding that six people were killed in the attempted attack and subsequent gun battle with security sources, including four militants and a Policeman.
“They (security forces) have killed four militants. Four dead bodies are lying on the spot. The whole area is encircled by the army. The militants were trying to enter the American consulate, but they did not succeed,” he said.