Pakistan police hunt for tourist bus attacker

 

Pakistan police are hunting for an unidentified assailant who threw a grenade at bus full of foreign tourists, wounding 12 people, in the fifth attack on Western targets in Pakistan this year.

"Police are raiding different areas under the jurisdiction of this police station to arrest the accused involved in yesterday's incident," a police official in Mansehra said.

The assailant yesterday hurled a grenade at a 27-member tourist party slightly wounding seven Germans, an Austrian, a Slovenian and three Pakistanis.

They were visiting Ashoka sites - relics of an ancient Hindu civilisation - near Mansehra, in the northwestern Frontier Province.

The tourist party was on its way to Pakistan's scenic northern areas when the attack took place, but were returned to Rawalpindi, near capital Islamabad, after the incident.

Police officials said no-one has been arrested in connection with the incident so far, but that police were combing the area.

"Several teams are searching...none of them have returned so far," an official said.

This was the fifth attack on Westerners in Pakistan since military ruler General Pervez Musharraf abandoned Afghanistan's vanquished Taliban and joined the US-led coalition in the "war against terror" following the September 11th attacks on the United States.