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Central & South Asia
Suicide blast rocks Pakistan market
Five killed and 10 wounded in attack in Swat valley town of Mingora.
Last Modified: 02 May 2010 06:03 GMT
Two would-be suicide bombers were challenged by security forces in the a busy market [AFP]

A suicide bomber has blown himself up in a busy market in Pakistan's Swat valley, killing at least three civilians and wounding 10 others, local police have said.

The bomber and an accomplice launched the attack in the town of Mingora on Saturday, but security forces were able to shoot dead one of the men before he could detonate his explosives, Qazi Jamil, a local police chief, said.

"One was shot dead while the other exploded himself."

Jamil earlier said: "A total of 10 people were injured and two were killed. Among the injured, three are critical.

Suspected fighters had opened fire on security forces in the market before the blast, police said.

"We arrested three militants from a car in the morning, other militants hiding somewhere in the market started firing on security forces injuring two paramilitary personnel," Jamil told the AFP news agency.

He said that troops returned fire and arrested another fighter wounded in the firefight.

Troops launched a search operation after the shooting and tried to arrest the two would-be suicide bombers but one managed to detonate his explosives vest.

A curfew was imposed in Mingora after the explosion.

Swat has seen a spate of killings of tribal elders in recent weeks, raising fears that Taliban fighters are reasserting their control over the region less than a year after the army claimed victory in an offensive to push them out of the area.  

The military said the offensive destroyed Taliban bases and killed hundreds of fighters, but some analysts have said that the fighters simply chose to flee to return to fight at a later date.

Source:
Agencies
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