Five die in suicide attack; 15 militants killed in operations
Last Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 18:48
  
Peshawar: Five people were killed in renewed terror in Pakistan's restive northwest as a suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded bus terminal as security forces in a crackdown arrested more than 700 suspects from the entire province.

The paramilitary forces also continued their flushing out operations in the region killing 15 Taliban fighters as military jets targeted terrorist positions in the volatile Orakzai tribal belt.

The jets bombarded Taliban hideouts at Ghundaki, Mashti Kandi, Chapri Alikhel and Dharra Dhar Mamzai areas of Orakzai Agency that borders Afghanistan. The troops recovered four machine guns, 12 grenades, and 10 kg of explosives in the operations.

The suicide bomber targeting an army convoy struck at the bus stand in Swat killing five persons including a woman and injuring 44 others, most of them tourists who had started flocking back to Pakistan's famous resort.

The blast represented a major setback to government's efforts to revive the tourism industry in the scenic Malakand division, which includes Swat. The bus stand was packed with passengers, mostly tourists, when the explosion occurred.

Malakand Division police chief Qazi Jamilur Rehman ordered an investigation into the attack. Police and rescue workers rushed to the site and took the injured to the hospital in Saidu Sharif.

The condition of some of the injured was described by officials as critical. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

With terror showing no signs of abating, despite army and paramilitary forces undertaking a sustained anti-militancy drive in the region, security forces are continuing a province wide crackdown to nab the terrorist.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told a group of journalists that 700 suspects had been rounded in search operations conducted in different parts of the province.

He said, the crackdown had been ordered as government had received information about terrorists regrouping in the suburbs of provincial capital Peshawar.

He said the government was compelled to carry out search operations to prevent incidents like the suicide attack at Yakaghund in Mohmand Agency that killed over 100 people.

People living in Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda districts where search operations were underway might face some hardships, Hussain said.

"The government has to take these strict measures to flush out militants and avoid any untoward incident," he added.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 18:48


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