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Pakistani Taliban Stronger Than Ever, Militant Says

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a police station in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least two people and wounding 40 others just days after a militant spokesman warned of more attacks.

The massive bombing destroyed the police station in Bannu district and most of those hurt were policemen, said police chief Mohammed Farid. Rescuers transported two bodies and 40 injured to hospitals, but officers were still buried in the rubble, he said.

Among the 40 wounded were 25 police and 15 passers-by, Farid said.

Pakistan's mountainous, lawless northwest along the Afghan border – where the government wields little control – is a favored breeding ground for insurgents, who use safe havens there to plan attacks on U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan as well as Pakistani government workers and security forces.

The latest attack came two days after Qari Hussain Mehsud, a spokesman for top Pakistani militant Hakimullah Mehsud, warned the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan group was ready to stage more suicide attacks in the region.

No one claimed responsibility for Saturday's strike.

The U.S. has launched dozens of missiles to take out top Taliban and al-Qaida leaders in Pakistan's northwest over the past year. Although Pakistan routinely protests the strikes, it is widely believed to secretly cooperate with them. The Taliban's previous leader, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in an August strike.

Qari Hussain Mehsud issued his warning Thursday during an interview with The Associated Press at a secret location in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border, just hours before a U.S. missile strike hit the tribal region and killed 12 people.

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Associated Press writers Munir Ahmad and Asif Shahzad contributed to this report from Islamabad.

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