South Asia

Top Pakistan anti-Taliban policeman killed

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A senior commander of Pakistan's paramilitary Frontier Corps has been killed in an attack by a suicide bomber in the city of Peshawar, officials say.

Sifat Ghayoor and his guard died after the bomber blew himself up next to their vehicle on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Ghayoor, a senior police officer attached to the Frontier Corps, also served as Peshawar police chief.

He had been playing a key role in the fight against Taliban insurgents in the region.

"The bomber arrived in a taxi just as Mr Ghayoor was leaving his office," a police official told the BBC in Peshawar.

"The man got out and blew himself up next to the car, as the commander was driving away."

A reporter for AFP news agency said the body of what appeared to be a teenage boy with a severed head and legs was at the site of the blast.

"We have lost a brave and great officer. He came out of his office and was targeted here," senior Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister Bashir Bilour told AFP outside the Frontier Constabulary headquarters.

"We are investigating whether the suicide bombers were one or two. We will also see whether he was on foot or sitting in a car."

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP and threatened further targeted killings in what correspondents say could be their new tactic.

Wednesday's bombing comes as Pakistan struggles to cope with flooding which has displaced millions of people.

It was the first suicide attack since 26 July when senior Pakistani officials were targeted as they mourned the murdered son of a north-western politician.