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Central & South Asia

Pakistani official survives assassination bid

A bomb attack targeting an aide of Pakistan's prime minister kills five people in Swat Valley.

Last updated: 12 Jan 2014 12:04
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A bomb attack targeting an aide of Pakistan's prime minister killed five people in a northern area, police have said.

The bomb exploded in the Shangla area on Sunday near the convoy of Amir Muqam, a cabinet aide and former parliamentarian, said Deputy Inspector General Abdullah Khan.

After attending a local tribal meeting, Muqam was headed back to Mingora, the capital of Swat Valley, when two bombs exploded near his convoy, said Khan.

He said it was not clear whether both or one of them were suicide attacks.

Muqam escaped unhurt, but the blast killed two police and his three private guards.

"I thank God for saving my life. I am very sad over the loss of my people who gave their lives while protecting me," Muqam said.

He said that he was travelling in the area with some 15 vehicles in his convoy as part of campaign efforts for local elections.

"This is not the first attack on me. This is the sixth attack, but I will not be deterred from carrying out my political activities," he added.

Later, talking to news channel Geo television Muqam said that he saw the debris of the pilot car and pieces of human flesh falling from it.

Muqam did not name who he thought was behind the bombing, but said that "there are people who cannot tolerate the truth and they want to silence the voice of the truth."

In July 2011, a suicide bomber killed six people including a child in Swat Valley where Muqam was to address a public meeting.

Shangla is part of the scenic Swat Valley that local Taliban fighters captured before an army offensive drove them out in 2009.

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