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Pakistani worker at US consulate slain

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Gunmen killed a local employee of the US consulate in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Monday, police said.

Police spokesman Arif Khan said attackers riding on a motorbike shot Faisal Saeed, a computer networking specialist, as he was walking home in the Gulbahar area of the provincial capital.

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Khan said the identity card in Saeed’s pocket revealed, and relatives confirmed, that he worked at the consulate.

The US Embassy said officials were looking into the report. Militants are active in Peshawar and nearby tribal areas.

Also Monday, a suicide bomber’s explosive vest went off in the house of a progovernment tribal elder in Peshawar, killing four women, police said.

It was not clear whether the attacker set the vest off deliberately. He had run into the home of the elder, Jan Mohammad Afridi, in the city’s Chamkani area, after residents thought he was acting suspicious and the police started chasing him, said police chief Ahsan Shah.

Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is next to tribal areas that are bases for several militant networks, including the Pakistani Taliban.

It was not known whether Afridi, who was in another part of the house, was the initial target. Shah said police surrounded the house and exchanged gunfire with the bomber.

Shah said half of Afridi’s house was destroyed in the blast and four bodies were recovered from the rubble. He said five others in the house, including a woman and two children, were wounded.

Elsewhere in Pakistan, separatists from the southwestern Baluchistan province blew up three gas pipelines in the central Rahim Yar Khan district, cutting supplies to millions of households overnight, according to the head of Sui Northern Gas, Arif Hameed.

Hameed said the pipelines would take at least two days to fix, crippling gas supplies to Pakistan’s most prosperous province of Punjab.

The Baluch Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack. Its spokesman, Sarbaz Baluch, said the attack was in response to the discovery earlier of dead bodies of Baluch activists.

Baluch separatists have been waging a low-level insurgency for years against the Pakistani government.

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