A Taliban suicide bomber struck a vehicle carrying census workers in eastern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing two data collectors and four soldiers who were escorting them, officials said.
The attack took place on the outskirts of Lahore, said Malik Ahmad Khan, the provincial government spokesman. A local police official, Mohammad Afzal, said that 15 other people were wounded in the blast, which damaged nearby shops.
Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the group sought to target Pakistan’s “impure army,” which he called a “slave of America.” The militant group’s chief, Mullah Fazlullah, who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan, ordered the attack, the spokesman said.
Elsewhere in Pakistan, two gunmen shot and killed a former Pakistani army colonel in southern city of Karachi, said police official Rao Rafiq. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Pakistani group linked to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility in a text message sent to an Associated Press reporter.