Blast near mosque kills 16 in Pakistan's northwest

PARACHINAR, Pakistan Fri Feb 8, 2013 8:04pm IST

Related Topics

PARACHINAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A bomb blast killed 16 people and wounded 27 in Pakistan on Friday, government officials said, in an area that authorities said they had cleared of Taliban fighters.

"Most of the dead and injured were returning from Friday prayers at a mosque," said Mehmood Aslam, a government official in the area.

A Pakistani journalist and a paramilitary fighter were among the dead, said Fazal Qader, the regional deputy official.

The blast took place near a shop in Kalaya, the capital of the semi-autonomous Orakzai region in the ethnic Pashtun belt that runs through northwestern mountains along the Afghan border. No group claimed responsibility.

Following the attack, nine militants were killed after jets bombed their hideout, a local official and a military official said.

Security forces launched a major operation in Orakzai in March 2010 to push out insurgents fleeing a military offensive in the nearby South Waziristan region on the Afghan border. Orakzai was previously seen as a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.

The military says several hundred Taliban fighters have been killed in Orakzai since 2010 and the area is under control. But despite losses, the militants have since carried out several bomb and gun attacks in the area.

Clearing out militant sanctuaries near the Afghan border is seen as crucial to U.S. efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan, particularly in the run-up to the end of the U.S.-led combat mission in 2014. (Additional reporting by Saud Mehsood; Writing by Mehreen Zahra-Malik; Editing by Robert Birsel and Oliver Holmes)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Expanding Ties

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Interview with Bulgari CEO

Interview: Bulgari CEO

Bulgari CEO: we shouldn’t have left India so we’re back  Full Article 

U.S. in Afghanistan

U.S. in Afghanistan

Obama signs order expanding U.S. Afghanistan role - NY Times  Full Article 

Available For Remake

Available For Remake

Bollywood finally wants to pay the price for remakes  Full Article 

Economic Reform

Economic Reform

Long "to do" list for Modi as clock ticks on reform  Full Article | Related Story 

E-books Case

E-books Case

Apple $450 mln e-book settlement gets final court approval  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Happy Ending" is old wine in an older bottle  Full Article 

Athletes of Year

Athletes of Year

Frenchman Lavillenie, Kiwi Adams are Athletes of Year.  Full Article 

Japan Politics

Japan Politics

Japan PM seeks referendum on "Abenomics" in snap election.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage