Sun, Jul 22, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Bombing kills nine in Pakistani militia compound: officials

AFP and Reuters, Peshawar and Parachinar, Pakistan

A bomb exploded at a compound in northwest Pakistan yesterday, killing nine people and wounding 20, local government and intelligence officials said.

The bombing in the compound, used by a local militia and containing residential units and an office, occurred near the village of Spin Tal in the Orakzai tribal region. The Pakistani military has been conducting operations against militant groups in the area for months.

“We are not sure if a suicide bomber hit the compound or if some militants were assembling a bomb and it accidentally went off,” a local government official said, requesting anonymity.

The wounded were evacuated to a hospital in neighboring Hangu District. A hospital official said that several of the wounded were in critical condition.

In another incident yesterday, a roadside bomb ripped through a pick-up truck in a northwestern Pakistani town near the Afghan border, killing three people inside, officials said.

The improvised explosive device “was detonated using a remote-controlled device” near the town of Dhog Darra in Upper Dir district, regional police chief Ehsanullah Khan said.

Khan added that three people were killed and eight wounded in the attack, two of whom were in critical condition.

The dead included the driver of the vehicle and two young men.

“It was a militant act aimed at creating fear among the people in the area,” Khan said.

Dhog Darra is considered the stronghold of an anti-Taliban militia set up by local people in Upper Dir district. The district lies close to Pakistan’s lawless tribal region and eastern Afghanistan’s troubled provinces of Kunar and Nuristan.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack, but an intelligence official in Upper Dir said the attackers were followers of Maulana Fazlullah, a radical cleric from the Swat valley, who fled into Afghanistan following a military offensive.

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