Suicide Attack Kills at Least 65 in Pakistani Tribal Village
Sean Maroney 09 July 2010
Pakistani officials say twin blasts outside a government office have killed at least 65 people in the country's northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border.
Police say a suicide bomber on a motorbike struck as Rasool Khan, a government official, was meeting with a local peace committee in the Yakaghund village of the Mohmand tribal region Friday. The blast was followed by a suspected car bomb explosion. The official was not hurt.
However, there are conflicting reports from the scene. Some witnesses are reported as saying a single bomber carried out the attack.
The early morning attack wounded more than 100 people and took place as officials nearby were distributing wheelchairs and other aid to the needy. Officials say women and children are among the dead.
Some 70 shops were completely destroyed and rescuers were searching the rubble of collapsed buildings for more victims. Official say a local jail was also damaged, allowing 28 prisoners to escape.
Mohmand is part of Pakistan's lawless tribal belt where Taliban and al-Qaida militants are based. The Pakistani army has carried out operations in Mohmand, but it has been unable to clear the area of militants. Last year, the military conducted a high profile campaign to rid northwestern Swat Valley and South Waziristan of militants, setting off a spate of retaliatory militant bombings across the country.
Pakistan is under pressure from the United States to go after the insurgents, who also have carried out attacks on western forces in Afghanistan. On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Giliani discussed cooperation in the fight against terrorism with U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Jack Reed in Islamabad.
Mr. Gilani said both Pakistan and the U.S. should try harder to increase mutual trust. He said Pakistan was doing its utmost to combat militancy and that countries like the U.S. should share credible information with Pakistan rather than engage in a "blame game."
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|