Pakistani air force official examine the area next to a damaged truck at the site of a bomb explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- The Pakistani Taliban declared "open war" Tuesday in response to military offensives in the northwest, saying it staged a bombing that destroyed an air force truck and killed up to 14 people, including a child.Quote has been trimmed
Authorities, meanwhile, investigated whether an insurgent reported killed in one of the military operations was a senior al-Qaida commander. The offensive in the Bajur tribal area reportedly has killed 160 people and caused tens of thousands to flee to camps farther north.
The blast in Peshawar, main city of the restive frontier with Afghanistan, escalated the conflict in a region where the new government is struggling to contain increasingly brazen militants. It dealt another blow to efforts to strike peace deals with hard-liners in the Swat Valley and other areas, pacts that U.S. officials contend would strengthen extremists.
"It is an open war between us and them," Pakistani Taliban spokesman Maulvi Umar told The Associated Press. "If these kinds of operations continue against us in Swat and in the tribal areas, we will continue this."
Pakistani officials could not be reached for comment or declined to react to the Taliban's statement, but earlier in the day Interior Ministry chief Rehman...