Grenade blast kills six in Pakistan (Lead)

April 26th, 2009 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 26 (DPA) A grenade balst killed a couple and their four children in Pakistan’s restive tribal region Sunday, hours after 12 children died in an explosion caused by a homemade bomb, officials said.
The grenade exploded in a pickup truck carrying a family of 10 near Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal district, a known hotbed of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants along the Afghan border.

“The family’s head, his wife and four children were killed on the spot,” local administration official Nazeer Khan said. Four other occupants were also wounded and taken to the hospital in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan.

It was not immediately clear whether the grenade was being carried in the vehicle and went off accidentally, or was thrown into it.

The incident occurred one day after 12 children were killed and three others wounded in another district of Pakistan’s volatile northwest when they started playing with a bomb they mistook for a toy.

The bomb resembling a football was picked up by the children Saturday as they were returning home from school in Luqman Banda village of Lower Dir district, police officer Saeed Zaman said.

“The bomb exploded as the children started playing with it in their house,” according to Zaman.

Eight of the 12 children killed in the blast belonged to a same family. The victims were between four and 13 years old.

Zaman said police were investigating whether “the toy bomb” was given to the children or if it came from unexploded munitions left behind by militants who once fought in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Dir adjoins the restive Swat region where fierce battles between the government forces and the Taliban militants stopped in February after a hard-line cleric brokered a shaky peace deal.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari earlier this month approved imposition of Islamic sharia law in Swat and the Malakand division, which includes Dir, in a deal to end the insurgency.

But militant violence in the region in recent days has put the agreement in danger, with increasing pressure on the nuclear-armed Islamic country to act against the insurgent instead of ceding more and more territory to them.

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