Seven killed in Pakistan on Independence Day eve
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A roadside bomb killed four people in northwest Pakistan on Monday on the eve of Independence Day, while security forces killed three pro-Taliban fighters in a tribal region near the Afghan border.
Pakistan celebrates 60 years of independence on Tuesday against the backdrop of a wave of bombings by Islamist militants after a military assault in July against a Taliban-led movement in an Islamabad mosque that killed 102 people.
More than 200 people have been killed in the ensuing violence, and several bomb attacks targeted Islamabad.
Paramilitary troops were on a standby to reinforce security in the capital for Independence Day.
The roadside bomb on Monday appeared to be have been detonated by remote control as a vehicle passed through Swat town in volatile North West Frontier Province, police said. The victims were civilians.
Earlier on Monday, security forces killed three militants in a counter-attack after a pre-dawn assault on checkposts in South Waziristan, military spokesman Major-General Waheed Arshad said.
Sixteen paramilitary soldiers were kidnapped in South Waziristan last week, according to intelligence sources.
Officials in the region, regarded as a hotbed of support for al Qaeda and the Taliban, said militants were demanding the release of 10 comrades in return for the soldiers.
In a separate attack, militants detonated a remote-controlled bomb next to a military convoy as it travelled through North Waziristan, near the main town of Miranshah. Intelligence officials said three paramilitary soldiers were wounded.
Clashes have intensified in North Waziristan after a 10-month-old peace pact broke down last month.
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