Militants kill 18 passengers in northwest Pakistan

At least 18 people were killed today when militants ambushed a convoy of private vehicles in the restive Kurram region of NW Pakistan that has been rocked by sectarian violence.

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2010, 20:38 PM IST

Peshawar: At least 18 people were killed
today when militants ambushed a convoy of private vehicles in
the restive Kurram tribal region of northwest Pakistan that
has been rocked by sectarian violence.

Several of the 18 people were killed instantly while
others succumbed to their injuries while being taken to
hospital. Two injured persons are currently being treated in
hospital, officials said.

Militants attacked the convoy of private vehicles in Char
Khel area of Kurram Agency, where life has been affected due
to fierce clashes between rival Shia and Sunni tribesmen.

Taliban militants who infiltrated the region have been
backing Sunni groups.

The convoy was travelling to Peshawar from Parachinar,
the main town in Kurram Agency, with an escort provided by the
local political administration.

The militants fired indiscriminately at the vehicles with
automatic weapons.

Residents of Kurram tribal agency have taken to
travelling in convoys with armed escorts as lone vehicles have
often been targeted by militants.

People in parts of the region also travel to Peshawar via
neighbouring Afghanistan to avoid militant attacks.
Local parliamentarian Sajid Hussain Toori described
today`s attack as an act of terrorism and called on the
government to step up security along key roads in Kurram
agency.

PTI