5 killed in Pakistan bomb attacks
AFP PESHAWAR TWO separate bomb blasts in Pakistan’s troubled northwest on Tuesday killed five people and wounded 26 others, police said.
The first bomb was planted in a motorbike and detonated at a busy plaza in the regional capital Peshawar, killing two people and injuring 19 others, senior police official Tahir Ayub told AFP.
Another senior police official, Saeed Khan, confirmed the casualties.
A second bomb hit a busy market in Landi Kotal town of Khyber tribal district, close to Peshawar, killing three people and wounding seven others, a government official told AFP. One tribal policeman was among the dead and two others were injured.
“The bomb also destroyed two vehicles,” Said Ahmad Jan, the official, said.
Islamist militants opposed to the government, particularly the nebulous Tehreek-e- Taliban (TTP) network, have carried out bomb and gun attacks killing more than 4,700 people across Pakistan since July 2007.
Khyber is a part of Pakistan’s seven tribal districts, rife with homegrown insurgents and strongholds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives.
Pakistan has for years battled insurgents in the tribal belt. More than 3,000 soldiers have died but Islamabad has resisted US pressure to do more to eliminate militant havens.
The chief of Khyber Teaching Hospital said it had received 24 injured victims.” Two injured died in the hospital and five others are still incritical condition,” Muhammad Zafar Afridi said.
Provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar said the attack could have been a retaliation for recent military operations that killed a local rebel commander. A mortar shell was also fired at a busy market in Khyber, one of seven tribal districts near the Afghan border.District official Rehman Shah said three people were killed and another three injured in the attack.