Bomb Kills 25 in NW Pakistan

Posted January 10th, 2012 at 3:10 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistani officials say a bomb blast near the Afghan border has killed at least 25 people and wounded 26 others, making it the deadliest attack of its kind in months.

The explosion hit a market in the Khyber tribal region Tuesday at a site where vehicles being used by pro-government militias were located. Officials say they believe the bomb was likely remote-controlled.

While no one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, this type of attack is a common tactic of Pakistan's militant groups in the country's volatile northwest.

Since 2007, Islamist militants — some with links to al-Qaida — have carried out hundreds of bombings, which have killed thousands. However, there had not been a major Islamist militant attack in the country since a suicide bomber killed at least 31 people at a funeral for a tribal elder opposed to the Pakistani Taliban last September.

Pakistan's army supports the formation of local anti-Taliban militias, known as “lashkars,” and militants have continually attacked militia members and their families over the past few years.

The Pakistani armed forces also have targeted militants in Khyber and the surrounding areas for more than four years.