Suicide bomber kills 7 in NW Pakistan

A suicide bomber struck near home of a Pak provincial government minister.

Pabbi: A suicide bomber struck on Monday near the home of a Pakistani provincial government minister whose only son was recently killed by suspected Islamist militants, officials said. Seven people were killed and 20 wounded.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province and an outspoken critic of the Taliban, was the apparent target. He received condolences from visitors at his house in Pabbi town at the time of the blast. He escaped unharmed.

The attack showed the dangers facing those in Pakistan who take high profile positions against the militants who have wreaked havoc in the country over the last several years. Hussain is frequently the official who shows up at the scenes of bombings in the northwestern province to condemn the Taliban and allied insurgent groups.

Last week, his son, Rashid Hussain, was gunned down in the same area of Nowshera district. Some local media reported that the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for that attack.

The suicide bomber on Monday was on a motorcycle and was rushing toward the minister`s home when intercepted by security officials, senior police official Liaquat Ali Khan said.

"He exploded himself when police tried to search him," he said. Three police were among the dead.

A local hospital official, identified on TV reports only as Dr Akbar, said seven bodies had arrived, while 20 wounded people were being treated. TV footage showed police patrols and ambulances racing in streets in the village. A handful of stores in the neighbourhood appeared to have been damaged as well.

Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province lies along Pakistan`s border with Afghanistan and has experienced a great deal of Taliban violence, including attacks that target government leaders.

Bureau Report