Several dead in Swat valley bombing

Civilians and a policeman killed in suicide bomb attack in restive Swat valley.

    Pakistani troops have led an offensive against Taliban and al-Qaeda loyalists in the Swat valley [AFP]
    Military offensive


    The bombing comes a day after officials said they had almost cleared Swat valley, which lies 160km from Islamabad, of opposition fighters.

    Major General Nasser Janjua said his troops had killed 290 fighters, who he said were supported by the Taliban and al Qaeda.

    A further 143 were captured in the offensive involving 20,000 troops, he said.

    Also in Swat, three bodies were also found in the Samgota area, about 35km northwest of Mingora.

    "Evidence found at the scene suggested the dead men were local militants apparently killed by the local residents of the area," Iqbal said.

    "It is a good sign that local people have gotten active against the militants."

    Rockets fired

    Suspected opposition fighters on Sunday fired rockets at an air force base in the northwest city of Peshawar, capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

    Two rockets landed in a field at the base while a third rocket hit a road near the base after midnight, Mohammad Tahir Khan, a senior police official, said.

    Part of the base is used for domestic and international passenger flights.

    A girls' school was also bombed in the city, but police said there were no casualties in the attack.
    Peshawar is located close to Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal areas, where government forces are fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda loyalists.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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