LAHORE, Pakistan — The death toll from a suicide car bomber who struck a building Monday where police interrogate high-value suspects reached 13, with 61 people wounded, several in critical condition.
The attack broke what had been a relative lull in violence in Pakistan, where militant groups revile the government for its alliance with the United States. It also showed that insurgents retain the ability to strike the country's heartland, far from the Afghan border regions where al-Qaida and the Taliban have long thrived, despite army offensives aimed at wiping them out.
Pakistanis living near the building had filed complaints urging authorities to move the unmarked interrogation facility out of the residential area so the street wouldn't become a target for an attack, said Mohammad Musharraf, a neighborhood resident.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility in a telephone call to an Associated Press reporter. It and allied groups are believed responsible for a wave of attacks that killed more than 600 starting in October, including several in major Pakistani cities. More recent attacks have been smaller and confined to remote northwest regions near Afghanistan.
The bomb blast comes amid reports of a Pakistani crackdown on Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida operatives using its soil. Among the militants said to have been arrested is the Afghan Taliban's No. 2 commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. In recent days, Pakistani officials say an American member of al-Qaida has been captured in the southern city of Karachi. He was identified Sunday as al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn, the most wanted American in the terrorist network. But authorities said early Monday that it was a case of mistaken identity and that they have a different American in custody.
Pakistani intelligence officials identified him as Pennsylvania native and al-Qaida operative Abu Yahya Majadin Adam, a name similar to one listed on the FBI's Web site as an alias for Gadahn, the 31-year-old who has appeared in several al-Qaida videos threatening the West since 2001.