Suicide Bomb Kills 12 in Pakistan
VOA News 05 March 2010
A suicide bomber attacked a convoy of Shi'ite Muslims in northwest Pakistan Friday, killing at least 12 people.
Police say the attacker targeted the civilians as they were being escorted by security forces in the town of Hangu near the border with Afghanistan. The bomber attacked as the vehicles passed through a gas station.
Police and witnesses say at least two women and two children were among the dead.
The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan released a statement strongly condemning the bombing.
Pakistan's northwest has endured years of Islamist extremist violence. Taliban militants in Pakistan, angered by the war and the government's alliance with the United States, have carried out numerous bombings, killing hundreds of people.
They have also targeted Shi'ites, a minority in Sunni-majority Pakistan. The two ethnic groups have a long history of sectarian violence.
Militant attacks in the northwest persist despite Pakistan's military offensive in the region, which has succeeded in destroying Taliban bases.
Thursday, media outlets reported Pakistan had arrested senior Taliban leader Agha Jan Mohtasim, the Taliban's former finance minister, in Karachi. Government officials did not comment on the reports. Last month, Pakistani forces captured top Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.
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