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Pak army targets Waziristan, suicide attacks continue

By Rezaul H Laskar
November 14, 2009 21:39 IST
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A suicide bomber on Saturday blew up a security check post near Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar, killing 10 persons, while seven militants died in clashes in South Waziristan where the Army captured the Takrai Sar area and secured a vital road link.

In continuing wave of violence in northwest Pakistan, a suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle, packed with 50 kg of explosives, when he was flagged at a checkpoint at Pishtakhara Chowk, the main entry point to Peshawar from the troubled Khyber tribal region.

The blast killed at least 10 people, including two women, two children and two policemen, and injured over 25 others. In operations in South Waziristan, the Pakistani military claimed to have killed seven militants in fierce clashes during the past 24 hours. Four soldiers were also injured in the region where security forces were consolidating their positions and conducting search operations.

Four militants were killed in clashes when troops captured the important feature of Takrai Sar located northeast of Ladha, a former Taliban stronghold, the military said in a statement.

Three militants were killed and a soldier was injured in clashes that occurred while security forces secured a key road linking Makeen in North Waziristan to Lattaka Narai, the military said.

The powerful blast on the outskirts of Peshawar blew up a number of other vehicles lined up at the check post. A large number of people were present in a nearby bus stand and commercial area when the blast occurred at about 4.15 pm.

Hospital officials said 10 people, including two children, two women and two policemen, were killed and over 25 injured. Several of the injured, including women, are in a critical condition, they said.

The bomber came in a car from the direction of Bara, a town in Khyber Agency, and blew himself up when police were checking his vehicle, district administration chief Shahibzada Anees said.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Vehicles entering Peshawar from the Khyber Agency are checked at the check post in Pishtakhara Chowk. Pakistani security forces have been conducting operations against militants in Khyber Agency.

The NWFP has witnessed a wave of suicide attacks and bombings since the army launched an operation against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in South Waziristan tribal region.

Suicide car bombers on Friday struck the Inter-Services Intelligence agency's headquarters in Peshawar and a police station in Bannu, killing 20 people and injuring 85 others.

In Waziristan, three soldiers were injured during a gun battle with militants at Ahmed Wam, a Taliban stronghold near Sararogha, which was recently cleared by the army.

Soldiers moving forward from Makeen had linked up with troops advancing from Kaniguram, a militant stronghold that was captured recently.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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