Alexa

Twin suicide blasts kill 23 people in Pakistan

 Pakistani police officer and rescue workers rush a dead body of a paramilitary soldier from the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesda...
 Pakistani police officer and rescue workers rush to remove a dead body from the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011...
 Pakistani police officers and rescue workers remove a dead body of a paramilitary soldier from the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wedne...
 Pakistani police officer walks past burning vehicle at the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide b...
 EDITORS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Pakistani security personnel carries an injured child from the site of bombing in Quetta, Pakistan on Wednesday, Sept...
 Pakistani police officer examines the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers attacked the h...
 People are seen at the site of bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers attacked the house of a top military ...
 Pakistani security officer examines a crater at the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers ...
 Pakistani police officer and rescue workers remove a dead body from the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair...
 Emergency personnel carry a person injured in bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers attacked the house of ...
 Pakistani security official and media gather at the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers ...
 Pakistani security official and media gather at the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers ...

Pakistan

Pakistani police officer and rescue workers rush a dead body of a paramilitary soldier from the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesda...

Pakistan

Pakistani police officer and rescue workers rush to remove a dead body from the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011...

Pakistan

Pakistani police officers and rescue workers remove a dead body of a paramilitary soldier from the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wedne...

Pakistan

Pakistani police officer walks past burning vehicle at the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide b...

Pakistan

EDITORS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT - Pakistani security personnel carries an injured child from the site of bombing in Quetta, Pakistan on Wednesday, Sept...

Pakistan

Pakistani police officer examines the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers attacked the h...

Pakistan

People are seen at the site of bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers attacked the house of a top military ...

Pakistan

Pakistani security officer examines a crater at the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers ...

Pakistan

Pakistani police officer and rescue workers remove a dead body from the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair...

Pakistan

Emergency personnel carry a person injured in bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers attacked the house of ...

Pakistan

Pakistani security official and media gather at the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers ...

Pakistan

Pakistani security official and media gather at the site of suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. A pair of suicide bombers ...

A pair of suicide bombers killed 22 people while targeting a top army officer in southwest Pakistan on Wednesday, missing him but killing his wife. Among the other dead were several guards, a senior officer and two children, officials said.
Police said they were investigating whether the strike in the city of Quetta was revenge for the recent arrests there of three top al-Qaida suspects, an operation assisted by the CIA.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, but a spokesman for the group did not mention the arrests.
Instead, he said Brig. Khurram Shahzad, the deputy head of the region's Frontier Corps, was targeted because of an incident several months ago that left five people dead at a checkpoint in the city.
In Wednesday's blasts, the first attacker detonated his vehicle next to a group of Frontier Corps officers close to Shahzad's house. Hurling grenades, the second attacker then stormed the house and blew himself up inside it, police officer Naseer Ahmed Kurd said.
Police officer Hamid Shakil said at least 23 people were killed and more than 80 were injured, some critically.
Two of the dead were children traveling in a rickshaw. A colonel in the corps was also killed, he said.
Shakil said one of the suicide bombers was carrying an identity card showing him to be a 21-year-old Afghan refugee.
The bombing followed Monday's disclosure of the arrests of the three al-Qaida suspects in Quetta. The Pakistan army statement announcing it stressed the level of CIA involvement _ a possible sign of an upswing in cooperation between two uneasy anti-terror allies after the rancor surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden in a unilateral U.S. operation.
American officials praised the arrest operation, saying the detention of the most senior militant _ Younis al-Mauritani _ was a significant achievement. The Frontier Corps took part.
"This attack was maybe in reaction to the recent arrests, but we are investigating," police officer Shakil said of the Wednesday blasts.
Islamist militants are seeking to topple Pakistan's Western-allied leaders.
Allied to the insurgents fighting U.S. forces across the border in Afghanistan, the militants have attacked hundreds of government, police, army and civilian targets since 2007, when the violence began in earnest. Many thousands have been killed, and Pakistani authorities have struggled to counter the threat.
Quetta is a dangerous city, thought to be home to al-Qaida and Taliban leaders. It lies close to the border with southern Afghanistan, the heart of the insurgency in that country. It is also wracked by separatist violence, but those rebels have not tended to deploy suicide bombers.
Pakistan didn't say when al-Mauritani and the two other al-Qaida operatives were arrested, but a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, has said the arrests took place in the past two weeks.
The unusual announcement about the cooperation between the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency appeared aimed at reversing the widespread perception that ties were badly damaged by bin Laden's killing.
The Pakistanis accused the Americans of violating their sovereignty with the bin Laden raid, while Washington was angry the terror leader was found in a house in a military garrison town in Pakistan.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday praised Pakistan for al-Mauritani's arrest.
"It's a tribute to the Pakistanis, who worked with us on this effort to be able to go after him," Panetta told reporters, adding that he assumes the U.S. will ask the Pakistani authorities for permission to interrogate him.
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AP National Security Writer Robert Burns contributed to this report.