At least nine people were killed and 49 injured yesterday after a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car in a restive northwestern Pakistan valley, officials said.
The bombing took place at a security checkpoint in the town of Mingora in scenic Swat valley, which has been rocked by a violent campaign to impose Islamic laws.
“According to initial reports, nine people were killed and 49 others were injured in the suicide blast at the check post,” a security official said.
He said all who had died were civilians and a lone security official was among the wounded.
“The attacker was trying to approach the check post after bypassing the queue, but his car exploded on the way,” the official said.
The chief of a local government hospital, Doctor Lal Noor, said that nine bodies were brought in along with the 49 who were wounded.
Pakistan is facing its worst period of violence by Islamic militants, many of whom are linked to al-Qaeda.
Nearly 1,500 people have been killed since July last year in a wave of militant bombings across the country.
The mountainous Swat valley was until last year a popular tourist destination featuring Pakistan’s only ski resort.
But the region has been turned into a battleground since radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who has links to Pakistan’s Taliban movement, launched a violent campaign for the introduction of Islamic Shariah law in the valley.