PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside a press club in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing two people in the latest of a slew of attacks to strike the city of Peshawar since the military launched a major offensive near the Afghan border.
A policeman tried to search the attacker as he approached the press club’s gate, but the man resisted and was able to trigger his explosives, killing the officer and an accountant who worked for the organization, said Peshawar’s police chief, Liaquat Ali Khan.
A woman who was at the site of the attack apparently died of cardiac arrest, said Sahib Gul, a doctor at a hospital in Peshawar where the three bodies were brought.
Seventeen other people were injured in the attack, many of whom were traveling in a bus that passed the press club when the explosion occurred, said Gul.
The blast blew out the press club’s windows and slightly damaged the gate and several surrounding buildings.
Peshawar has been hit by at least seven attacks in the past two months in retaliation for a military offensive launched in mid-October against the militant stronghold of South Waziristan in Pakistan’s lawless tribal area near the Afghan border. A single attack in late October in a market popular with women and children in Peshawar killed 112 people.
The Peshawar Press Club targeted in Tuesday’s attack is a well-known landmark in the city, and many journalists congregate there. A provincial labor minister was scheduled to hold a press conference at the club later Tuesday, said the organization’s president, Shamim Shahid.
He praised the police officer who prevented the bomber from entering the building.
“The policeman averted a major incident by sacrificing his life,” said Shahid.