x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Several dead in Pakistan market bombing

Police say eight people have died in a bomb blast at a market in north-west Pakistan.

A Pakistani policeman inspects a destroyed car after a bomb blast at a market in Dera Ismail Khan.
A Pakistani policeman inspects a destroyed car after a bomb blast at a market in Dera Ismail Khan.

PAKISTAN // Police say eight people have died in a bomb blast at a market in north-west Pakistan. A government official said the blast in Dera Ismail Khan today appeared to have been caused by a planted explosive device. The local police chief, Mohammad Iqbal, confirmed the death toll and said more than 20 people have also been wounded. Meanwhile, intelligence officials said a suspected US missile strike has killed five people in the country's tribal region.

The two officials said the missile struck three vehicles in South Waziristan - the main base for the Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud. It appeared to be the first US missile strike in nearly a month in Pakistan. The Pakistani government has publicly protested against such strikes, fired by unmanned drone aircraft, saying they violate the country's sovereignty, even though many analysts suspect the two countries have struck a secret deal to facilitate the attacks.

The last missile strike was in mid-May. South Waziristan, which also is an al Qa'eda stronghold, is believed to be the target of Pakistan's next offensive against militants. Mehsud has been linked to bombings on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and US defence officials said last week that Pakistan intends to go after him, though no time frame was given. * AP