Pak terror attack: Suicide bomb kills 47 at volleyball site

Last Updated: Friday, January 1, 2010 - 23:53

Peshawar/Islamabad: In a bloody start to
the new year, Pakistan today witnessed a major terror attack
when a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into
the wall of a volleyball ground in the country`s northwest
killing 47 people and injuring 40 others.

In a separate attack, a tribal elder associated with
an anti-Taliban militia and five others were killed when the
vehicle they were travelling in was targeted with a roadside
bomb in the restive Bajaur region.

The suicide attack occurred at Shah Hasankhel village,
located 25 km from Lakki Marwat in the southern part of the
North West Frontier Province.

A large crowd was watching a volleyball game between
two local teams when the bomber struck the playground`s wall
with his vehicle.

Thirty-two bodies were lying at the site of the blast
while 15 bodies were taken to a nearby hospital, officials
were quoted as saying by Geo News channel.

The officials said over 40 people were injured.
Mushtaq Marwat, a member of a pro-government "peace
committee" that cooperated with security forces to drive
militants out of the area, said the blast destroyed 10 houses
and several shops.

A mosque where members of the peace committee were
meeting was damaged, he said.

The peace committee had received several threats from
militants after they were driven out of Shah Hasankhel about
three months ago, Marwat said.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack but
police officials said they suspected the Taliban were behind
the assault as local residents had cooperated with security
forces in the operation against militants.

Shah Hasankhel was earlier considered a stronghold of
the Taliban.

Today`s attacks were the latest in a series of
devastating suicide bombings across Pakistan that has killed
over 500 people since October last year.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the
attack and said such terrorist acts would not weaken his
government`s resolve to fight terrorism till it is completely
eliminated.

Tribal elder Malik Gul Shah Ali Khan and five others,
including a minor boy, died when the vehicle was targeted with
a remote controlled bomb in Salarzai sub-division of Bajaur
Agency this morning, officials of the local administration
said.

In Hangu district of the North West Frontier Province,
two militants were killed while planting a bomb, police said.

The militants were planting the bomb beside a road
when it went off with a loud bang. Both men were killed
instantly. Police took their bodies into custody.

Meanwhile, at least eight militants were killed in US
drone attacks in the troubled North Waziristan tribal region,
a Taliban stronghold.

A missile fired by a drone struck a vehicle near
Navana village in Mirali sub-division this morning, killing
three militants.

Five militants were killed last night when a drone
fired two missiles at a compound at Machikhel village in
Mirali.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 1, 2010 - 23:53

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