Eight die in suicide bombing in Pakistan tunnel (Lead)

January 29th, 2011 - 2:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Jan 29 (IANS) A suicide bomber blew up his truck packed with 500 kg explosives inside a tunnel in Pakistan’s northwest, killing eight people early Saturday, officials said.The bombing took place soon after midnight in the Kohat tunnel that connects the cities of Peshawar and Kohat.

Khalid Khan Omarzai, an official, told DPA that the truck was stuffed with around 500 kg of explosives and the bomber rammed it into the inner wall of the tunnel.

The huge explosion led to an oil tanker outside the tunnel catching fire and exploding a few minutes later. The second explosion damaged several vehicles.

Officials at two hospitals in Kohat and Peshawar said they had received eight bodies and 14 seriously injured people.

Two powerful blasts rocked the Bara market area of Khyber agency in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal area, a media report said Saturday.

“It is not yet known whether it was a planted device, but local sources confirm that a convoy of security forces has been targeted in it,” Aaj TV reported.

“Initially, there are no reports of any casualty because the security forces have blocked access to the blast site and curfew has been imposed in Bara market area. Gunfire exchange was also heard after the blast for some time,” it added.

Pakistani security forces are fighting Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

These militants keep attacking the security convoys and check posts in retaliation every now and then. The Pakistani army had claimed last month that more than 70 percent tribal area has been cleared of militants.

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