Tribal elder, three guards killed in Bannu suicide blast
Monday, 28 Sep, 2009
MIRAMSHAH: An anti-Taliban tribal elder and three guards were killed by a suicide car bomb on Monday in northwest Pakistan, which is reeling from a spike in deadly militant attacks, police said.
The attacker rammed a car packed with explosives into a vehicle carrying the pro-government local leader — who had condemned Taliban tactics — in a town on the edge of the lawless tribal areas where militants hold sway.
‘It was a suicide attack. The bomber sitting in a car smashed his car into the vehicle of Abdul Hakeem,’ said Bannu police official Iqbal Khan.
Hakeem and three other tribesmen who were working as his security guards were killed instantly, Khan said, while a woman passing by was also wounded.
Hakeem was a prominent anti-Taliban tribal elder and local cleric, and had recently issued a decree against the suicide bombing tactics increasingly employed by insurgents battling the government.
‘He had issued a decree against suicide bombing and the Taliban were not happy with him,’ Mohammad Iqbal Marwat, police chief of Bannu district, told AFP, confirming the incident and the death toll.
The blast struck in Bakakhel town, just on the outskirts of Bannu district, about 150 kilometres south of Peshawar.
Two suicide car bombings on Saturday left 13 people dead in Bannu town and killed 11 in Peshawar, a bloody weekend after a lull in insurgent violence following the death in August of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.
Taliban militants claimed responsibility for Saturday’s Bannu blast, saying they were avenging the death of Mehsud in a US drone strike, and vowed to escalate their campaign against state and security targets.
Bannu borders the rugged tribal region of North Waziristan.