Another suicide attack kills one in Pakistan

March 1st, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, March 1 (DPA) At least one person was killed and 20 people were injured Saturday in a suicide attack at a security convoy in northwest Pakistan, even as authorities were probing a bombing that left 42 people dead a day ago at the funeral of a police officer, media reports and official said. The suicide bomber rammed his explosive laden vehicle into four paramilitary vehicles travelling near Khar, the main town in Bajaur tribal district that borders Afghanistan, Geo news channel reported.

Nine security officials were among the many critically wounded who were being moved to a hospital.

Pakistan’s tribal areas are believed to have safe havens of Al Qaeda militants and Taliban fighters who launch cross-border attacks on international forces into Afghanistan.

The blast came a day after a suicide attack at a Muslim funeral prayer for Javed Iqbal, a deputy police superintendent killed Friday in a roadside bomb explosion, left 42 people dead and 81 injured at Mangora, a town in restive Swat Valley of the neighbouring North West Frontier Province.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast but local officials believe it was carried out by the followers of pro-Taliban cleric, Maulana Fazlullah, who is believed to be behind dozens of suicide bombings in the scenic valley since October 2007 when the Pakistani Army was sent to the area to flush out Islamic militants.

“The security forces have cleared much of the area of the insurgents but some of them are still hiding in the mountains from where they conduct such heinous actions,” district police officer Waqif Khan said.

Hundreds of mourners were assembled in Mangora town Saturday morning to perform the joint funeral of several victims.

“Last night 37 bodies and 86 injured were moved to the hospital. Five succumbed to injuries later in the night,” said Mohammed Khan, medical superintendent at Saido Sharif hospital.

Friday’s suicide attack was the latest in a series of bombings Pakistan has seen since July 10, 2007 when army commandos stormed the so-called Red Mosque in Islamabad to end a siege by armed militants. Hundreds of people were believed to have died in the army attack.

Since then the militants have targeted the security forces in well-organised attacks, which also include more than half around the military headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. Around 1,000 people have died in the militant attacks in last 13 months.

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