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Government official: Suicide bombers kills 19 people in southwestern Pakistani city
QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) ' A pair of suicide bombers attacked the house of a top military officer in the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing his wife and 18 other people, at least eight of them soldiers, authorities said.
Police said they were investigating whether the strike was revenge for the recent arrests of three top al-Qaida suspects in the city, an operation that was assisted by the CIA.
The first attacker detonated his vehicle next to group of Frontier Corps officers close to the residence of the force's deputy chief in the region. Hurling grenades, a second attacker than stormed the house and blew himself up inside it, said police officer Naseer Ahmed Kurd.
He said at least 19 people were killed and more were wounded.
The arrests of the al-Qaida suspects were disclosed on Monday in an army statement that stressed the level of CIA involvement, a possible sign of an upswing in the two countries' often troubled relationship. American officials praised the operation, saying the detention of the most senior militant ' Younis al-Mauritani ' was a significant achievement.
The Frontier Corps took part in the operation, the army statement had said .
"This attack was maybe in reaction to the recent arrests, but we are investigating," police officer Hamid Shakil said about Wednesday's blasts.
Islamist militants are seeking to topple Pakistan's Western-allied leaders and take over the country.
Allied to the insurgents fighting U.S. forces across the border in Afghanistan, they have attacked hundreds of government, police, army and civilian targets since 2007 when the violence began in earnest. Many thousands have been killed, and Pakistani authorities have struggled to counter the threat.