Pak terror attack: Suicide bomb kills 47 at volleyball site



Pak terror attack: Suicide bomb kills 47 at volleyball site 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