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17 killed in suicide attack in Pak

April 04, 2009 17:26 IST

Seventeen people, including five children, were killed and over 30 others injured on Saturday when a suicide bomber attempted to target a security forces' convoy in Pakistan's restive North Waziristan tribal region. The convoy was going from Bannu to Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan Agency, when the suicide car bomber tried to attack it at a crowded bazar.

The bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle when the security forces opened fire at him. Seventeen civilians, including five children, were killed instantly. Three paramilitary personnel were among the 30 people injured in the blast, Geo news channel reported.

The powerful explosion also damaged the press club, a hospital, several buildings, shops and cars and disrupted power supply in the area. No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. Local residents said shopkeepers closed their establishments after the attack, fearing a reaction from security forces.

This was the first major attack on security forces in North Waziristan since a peace deal was signed between the government and local militants about two years ago. Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud earlier this week warned that he would launch attacks across Pakistan to avenge United States' drone attacks in the tribal belt. He said the US is carrying out strikes with the help of Pakistani authorities, a charge denied by the government.

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