Deaths in northwest Pakistan roadside blast
At least 14 people have died in a roadside bomb attack in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghanistan border, police officials say.
Sunday’s blast hit a vehicle believed to be carrying members of a peace jirga, and injured at least four people.
Ejaz Abid, a senior police officer, said the blast struck a passenger van in the Jandol area of the Lower Dir district.
Among the dead were three women and three children, the police said.
Abid said the bomb was planted on the dirt road connecting border villages with the town of Munda and the Bajaur tribal region.
It was detonated when the van loaded with passengers was near Jandol around 7.00am local time (02:00 GMT), he said. The injured passengers were rushed to a hospital, where some were in serious condition.
Lower Dir district has seen several bomb and gun attacks, sometimes launched from across the border, by local anti-state fighters.
People in the area have been supporting government forces against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
A spokesman for the TTP said the attack was launched in revenge after villagers formed a pro-government militia. He said such attacks would continue.
“We have informed them of the repercussions of supporting the government but they didn’t stop backing the armed forces,” Sirajuddin Ahmad, a Taliban spokesman, told the Reuters news agency by telephone from an undisclosed location.
A government official from the area said those killed were all civilians and none was a member of either the militia or the armed forces.
Dilawar Khan, a survivor, said he heard a huge blast, and the passengers suddenly dived to the ground.
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