PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) – Separate roadside bomb attacks Saturday in Pakistan’s volatile northwest killed three people including a local police chief, a senior police official said.
The first bomb went off near a civilian vehicle, killing one person and wounding three others in the town of Bara about 10 miles (15 kilometers) east of Peshawar, said Ata Ullah, Peshawar’s police chief.
About two hours later a bomb struck a vehicle carrying district police chief Khaista Khan in Peshawar, killing him and his driver, Ullah said. Two policemen were also wounded in the attack. He provided no further details, saying only that police were investigating.
Peshawar is the capital of Pakistan’s restive North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan, where pro-Taliban militants often target security forces.
The latest violence comes despite peace talks between militants and Pakistan’s new government, which is headed by the party of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Analysts have said that the attacks will not necessarily undermine the talks, but that they reflect the fragmented nature of the militant movement across the volatile frontier region.
It was unclear who was responsible for Saturday’s Peshawar bombings.
On Wednesday authorities signed a peace deal with militants operating in Swat, a former North West Frontier tourist destination 105 miles (170 kilometers) from Peshawar.
Under the deal, the Swat militants agreed to respect the government’s authority, stop suicide and bomb attacks in the future and hand over any foreign militants in their areas.
In return, the government has promised to release an unspecified number of militants detained during recent military operation in Swat and to make limited concessions on the demands of the hardline cleric, Maulana Fazlullah, for the imposition of Islamic law in the region.