Suicide bomber kills 40 in Pakistani tribal area

March 2nd, 2008 - 9:03 pm ICT by admin  

(Second lead)
Islamabad, March 2 (DPA) Forty people were killed Sunday by a suicide bomber at a meeting of tribal leaders in north-west Pakistan who vowed to fight Islamic militants, local media reports and officials said. The bomber blew himself up in the midst of a crowd of 1,000 people at the end of a grand jirga (tribal council) in Darra Adam Khel in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), near the country’s lawless tribal areas, where Taliban and Al Qaeda militants are based.

Dawn News TV reported that 37 people were killed and 35 injured, while Geo TV and other local news channels reported the toll as at least 40.

The jirga was being held among five tribes to sign an agreement to wipe out armed Islamic militants from their areas, a senior military official said.

Emergency medical teams rushed the injured to hospitals in Darra Adam Khel, and the seriously wounded were taken to bigger hospitals in the provincial capital Peshawar, reports said.

It was the third suicide bombing in the volatile north-west region in three days.

On Friday, 42 people were killed when a bomber blew himself up at a funeral of a policeman in Mangora. Two people were killed and 20 injured Saturday in a suicide car bombing on a security convoy in the Bajaur tribal district.

In late January, Darra Adam Khel was the site of intense fighting between the Pakistani military and pro-Taliban militants who had seized a road tunnel and later four trucks carrying ammunition. Twenty-four militants and 13 soldiers were killed in the clashes.

Pakistan’s tribal areas are safe havens for armed Islamic groups, as well as Al Qaeda militants and Taliban fighters, who have launched cross-border attacks on international forces into Afghanistan.

However, the militants have turned inward and launch regular attacks against Pakistani security forces and political figures.

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