Bomb safely detonated near a minister's house in Swat valley

Peshawar: Pakistani authorities on Tuesday safely detonated a powerful bomb planted near the home of a provincial minister in the restive Swat valley in the country’s northwest, officials said.

Personnel of the bomb disposal squad detonated the seven-kilogramme explosive device that was planted in a tube-well adjacent to the residence of provincial Minister Ayub Khan Asharai in Matta sub-division of Swat district.

Asharai is a senior leader of the Awami National Party that rules the North West Frontier Province.

The Matta region was a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban till the army cleared the area of militants during an operation last year.

The Taliban have often targeted leaders and workers of the ANP. Officials said the timely action by the bomb disposal squad had averted a major catastrophe.

On receiving information about the bomb, police and experts of the bomb disposal squad rushed to the site and detonated the device that was hidden in a water cooler and planted beside the tube-well.

A large police contingent cordoned off the area before the bomb disposal squad triggered a controlled explosion.