Five troops killed, nine injured in Pakistan suicide blast

March 20th, 2008 - 10:37 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, March 20 (DPA) Five government soldiers were killed and nine others injured Thursday when a suicide bomber blew himself and his vehicle up next to their patrol, the army said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it was in retaliation for a missile attack early this week that killed 17, BBC’s Urdu-language service reported.

“We have a peace agreement with the government, and we are ready to observe it. But today’s attack was a retaliation,” the BBC quoted Taliban Commander Malang as saying.

The attacker struck in the early afternoon exploding his vehicle next to an army patrol in Wana, the main city in the tribal district of South Waziristan in the country’s northwest.

“All those killed were in the regular army. Five soldiers were killed and nine were wounded,” army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said.

Three civilians were also wounded in the attack.

In a separate attack Thursday also in South Waziristan three civilians were killed when one of four rockets fired from Afghanistan hit a residential house, Aaj TV reported. The other three missiles did not cause any damage.

The northwest of Pakistan has seen a rise in suicide bombings since the Pakistan army launched a major offensive in mid-2007 to flush out pro-Taliban militants from the region.

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