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Suicide Bomber Kills 6 at Pakistan Court

Vehicles are on fire after a suicide bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, Dec. 7, 2009.
AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad
This report was filed by CBS News' Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad.
A suspected Taliban bomber targeted a key Pakistani court in a suicide attack Monday in the northern city of Peshawar, killing at least six people and leaving 35 more wounded.

The lone suicide bomber arrived by rickshaw at Peshawar's local court then blew himself up just minutes after walking up to the building.

"We are not safe anywhere. We are at war," said Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), of which Peshawar is the capital. "We have to target the Taliban wherever they are before our security can improve."

Witnesses told Pakistani TV channels of human limbs scattered around the site of the attack, with blood splattered on the sidewalks. Some TV presenters said the images were too graphic to be shown to viewers.

After the attack, a senior Western diplomat in Islamabad warned that Pakistan's internal security conditions were likely to deteriorate further as the Taliban continued seeking revenge for the military's ongoing campaign in the South Waziristan region, near the Afghan border.

"The Taliban have decided to retaliate at all costs. They will not retreat anytime soon. They have to be fought back," said the diplomat, who spoke to CBS News on condition of anonymity.

Other diplomats from the West, and Pakistan's own security officials, say the country's ongoing campaign against Taliban militants is central to President Obama's revised Afghan war strategy.

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Military analysts say the U.S. plan will not succeed unless Pakistani forces manage to drive Taliban militants from their sanctuaries along the porous, mountainous border region between the two countries.

"The U.S. is convinced that Pakistan's border areas provide sanctuaries to the Taliban. Unless these sanctuaries are taken out, the problem of insecurity in Afghanistan will only get much worse," one Pakistani security official, who also asked not to be identified, told CBS News.

Last week, two of the three suicide attacks in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar targeted installations of the nation's armed forces, suggesting the military has become the prime target for the Taliban.