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Story courtesy of the BBC.

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you introduced modern weaponry to the Wild West? Here's one possibility:

At least three people have died after suspected militants attacked the US consulate in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar.

There were several explosions in the area near the consulate and buildings collapsed. A gun battle between police and the attackers followed.

Update: There were two attacks. One targetted a local political rally and the other the consulate.

Information is sketchy. It's unclear whether the consulate has been the target of the attack, or the local ruling party, although the Pakistani police seem to think the attack was aimed at the consulate. The connection has been made because one of the militants has blown himself up at a checkpoint which is only 20 metres from the consulate. Security forces then returned fire and a firefight ensured.

Three people are reputedly killed, a security guard, a civilian, and a paramilitary.

The attack was carried out using rocket-propelled grenades (which just shows that the 2nd amendment should have limits). The BBC's correspondent in Islamabad reports that this is the first attack against a US (civilian?) target in Pakistan in four years.

The Taliban have taken responsibility for the attack and claim the consulate was the target.

Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq said his group had carried out the attack.

"Americans are our enemies. We carried out the attack on their consulate in Peshawar. We plan more such attacks," he told Reuters news agency.

Update from Al-Jazeera:

Zafar Jaspal, a security analyst in Islamabad, told Al Jazeera that while the government has routed the Taliban from their bases in places like South Waziristan, they are spreading into settled areas.

"The American consulate is one of the most well guarded places in Peshawar. It [the attack] was well planned and they very confidently hit their target," he said.

Al-Jazeera reports 38 dead and 100 injured, according to a local doctor.

CNN World has the story as well.

The U.S. Embassy, in its statement, said the two attacks reflect "the terrorists' desperation as they are rejected by people throughout Pakistan."

/.../ The three explosions went off within a span of 15 minutes in the area of Saddar and Hayatabad Avenue, near the American consulate and the Peshawar headquarters of Pakistan's intelligence agency, which was the target of a deadly car bomb attack in November.

The blasts in the capital of the North West Frontier Province came hours after a suicide attack killed at least 30 people and wounded 50 others in another part of the province.

Originally posted to Dauphin on Mon Apr 05, 2010 at 05:37 AM PDT.

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