PESHAWAR - A roadside bomb near a military vehicle killed at least six people and wounded eight others on Tuesday in Pakistan’s restive northwestern tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.
The blast took place in North Waziristan, one of the country’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts, where the army has been battling Taliban militants. “The casualties came from a bomb planted in a motorcycle parked on a roadside in Khadi market of Mir Ali town,” Kamran Khan Afridi, a senior administration official in the area, told AFP.
“The blast targeted two vehicles passing along the road. Six people who died and eight who were injured are believed to be the vehicles’ passengers,” he said. Those killed and injured were civilians, said Kamran Afridi.
The injured were shifted to nearby hospitals, Afridi said.
The explosion is the first major blast after the culmination of the military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ against militants. Last week, five persons were killed in a similar blast in the South Waziristan Agency.
Local government and security officials also confirmed the attack and casualties. Mir Ali town and neighbouring Miranshah, N Waziristan’s capital, have long been home to Taliban militants.
Although violence in Pakistan has declined in recent years following a series of military offensives against insurgents along the northwestern border, militant groups are still able to carry out bloody attacks. In a number of assaults in recent weeks, militants have killed several people in the northwest as well as in Balochistan.
Last week, gunmen wearing burkas killed nine people in an attack on an agriculture institute in Peshawar. This latest wave of attacks came as hundreds of people displaced from their homes during the offensives in North Waziristan prepared to return, after military declared the region safe.