Legislator killed in Pakistan bomb attack (Lead)

February 11th, 2009 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Feb 11 (DPA) A provincial lawmaker was killed and eight more people were wounded Wednesday in a blast in Pakistan’s troubled northwest, as US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke visited the region for security talks, officials said.
Alam Zaib, who belonged to the secular Awami National Party (ANP), died of wounds he suffered when his car was hit by a bomb in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province.

Zaib underwent skull surgery but died in the intensive care unit of the hospital, top district administrator Sahibzada Mohammad Anis told the Urdu-language Geo news channel.

Eight more people, including his bodyguard and driver, were injured in the blast that took place yards away from the lawmaker’s house.

Police believed that the remote-controlled bomb was strapped to a motorcycle left abandoned by the roadside. However, some reports said the explosive device was planted in Zaib’s car, which was destroyed in the attack.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Khan said Zaib had been receiving threats from Islamic insurgents.

Zaib’s party, which leads the coalition government in the province, is in direct conflict with the rebels for supporting military operations against the Taliban militants in the region.

Several ANP leaders had been targeted since mid-2008 after negotiations between the government and the rebels failed to bring peace to the province and its adjoining tribal areas which serve as sanctuary for Al Qaeda and Taliban militants.

The bombing took place hours after Holbrooke arrived in Peshawar for talks with top provincial leaders. Details of his meetings were not immediately available.

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