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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Modi In Japan

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Segway in India

Segway in India

Segway’s India business pegs hope on tech-savvy Modi   Full Article 

Coal Block Scam

Coal Block Scam

Govt urges Supreme Court to not cancel some 'illegal' coal mines.  Full Article 

U.S. Open

U.S. Open

Djokovic, Murray in quarters clash, Serena advances.  Full Article 

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan Protests

Pakistani protesters clash with police, soldiers secure state TV.  Full Article 

Photo

Iraq Violence

Iraq violence killed at least 1,420 in August - U.N.  Full Article 

Mass Hacking

Mass Hacking

Actress Jennifer Lawrence contacts authorities after nude photos hacked.  Full Article 

Fighting Ebola

Fighting Ebola

Poor response to Ebola causing needless deaths – World Bank head.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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