'Fighters killed' in Pakistan raid

Taliban fighters reportedly killed in Bajaur while suicide blast kills 10.

    The army has been locked in a fight with local Taliban fighters in Bajaur for months now [AFP]

    The Pakistani authorities launched an offensive in the troubled Bajaur region three months ago in an attempt to disrupt the Taliban's influence over the area.

    Tribal meeting blast

    An explosion in Bajaur on Thursday killed at least 10 people and wounded 45 more, a government official said.

    The suspected suicide attack took place at a meeting of pro-government tribal elders, who had reportedly come together to discuss a plan to expel opposition fighters from the area.

    "It appears to have been a suicide attack," a senior government official in Khar, the region's main town, said.

    About 200 tribesmen were at the gathering which took place in the village of Batmalai, 20km north of Khar, villagers said.

    A tribal meeting was also hit by a suicide car bomb in the Orakzai region, south of Bajaur, in October.

    Peshawar airport hit

    In a separate incident, Kashif Alam, a Pakistani police official, confirmed on Wednesday that three rockets had been fired at Peshawar's airport at 1am local time [20:00 GMT].

    It is the third time in one week that Peshawar airport - which is also the main air force base - has been hit by rockets.

    Dost Mohammad, a police official, said the runway was slightly damaged and there were no casualties.

    In addition, thousands of people across the northwest region were left without power supplies after suspected Taliban-linked fighters blew up an electricity pylon carrying a main power line supplying electricity to Peshawar and other towns.

    Shaukat Afzal, a local power company spokesman, said alternative measures were being taken to restore supply.

    The garrison city of Peshawar is the capital of the North West Frontier Province region of Pakistan.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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