Times Wire Reports

A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up near an army vehicle, killing at least two soldiers in the first such assault in Pakistan's part of divided Kashmir, marking an escalation in the militant campaign against security forces.

The military said in a statement that three soldiers were wounded in the early morning bombing in Muzaffarabad, the region's capital.

Hakimullah Mehsud, a deputy to Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mahsud, said the assault was launched to prove that Mahsud had not been weakened by more than a week of military strikes on his suspected hide-outs in northwestern Pakistan.

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