A suicide bomber in northwestern Pakistan killed the head of a local peace committee, three of his guards and two passers-by on Saturday, police said.
Fateh Khan, whose committee opposes the Taliban, was killed as he left a petrol station in the main city of Buner, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 150km northeast of Peshawar.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack targeting Khan, local media quoted their spokesperson as saying.
“The suicide bomber blown himself up in front of Fateh Khan’s vehicle. Three guards boarding the vehicle were also killed in the attack,” Jehanzeb Khan, the district police chief, told the AFP news agency.
Khan had belonged to the Awami National Party and recently joined the Qaumi Watan Party, according to the Express Tribune. He was actively opposed to religious extremists in Buner, and played a leading role in forcing them out of the region in 2009. He was also an active district level political leader.
Police cordoned off the site of the blast and said the dead and injured had been transferred to hospital.
The attack in the district of Buner, in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province also injured six others, with one in critical condition according to medics.
“The dead bodies have been handed over to relatives. The bodies of policemen were given to the police. There were two policemen [killed] and three others,” said Dr Asrarullah Khan, chief of the District Headquarters hospital in Dagar.
“One of those injured was in critical condition. We have referred them to Peshawar hospital after giving them a blood transfusion. Two others injured are admitted here in this hospital ward. The rest of the injured have been sent home after dressing and other treatment,” he added.
The site of the attack is near Swat Valley, where the Taliban last month shot and wounded 14-year-old education activist Malala Yousufzai for criticising the hardline Muslim group’s behaviour when they seized the isolated region in 2008.
Suicide and bomb attacks carried out by religious extremists have killed more than 5,200 people since July 2007 across Pakistan.