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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