LAKKI MARWAT: A total of 12 people were killed in a suicide car bombing and a separate ambush on a vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, police and officials said.
The explosion happened after officers signalled a suspect vehicle to stop at a checkpost in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, local police chief Gul Wali Khan told AFP.
The driver ignored the instruction so police opened fire and the bomber detonated his device, he said.
About 40 shops and 10 houses were damaged in the blast.
“We have recovered five bodies so far from the debris,” he said. “The bomber detonated his car. It was a suicide car bomb attack.
The fatalities were all civilians killed when the buildings collapsed, the police chief said, adding that another 35 people were wounded, 10 of them police officials.
The two attacks took place as Pakistan celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Lakki Marwat district borders South Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s militant-infested semi-autonomous tribal belt near Afghanistan, which Washington calls the “most dangerous” place on Earth and a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.
Earlier Thursday gunmen killed seven people, four from the same family, in an ambush on a vehicle in Kurram tribal district in a possible sectarian attack, officials said.
The vehicle, with eight people on board, all from the minority Shiite community, was attacked in the Makhizai area of lower Kurram, local administration chief Javedullah Khan told AFP.
“Gunmen hiding behind the bushes along the road opened fire,” killing seven of those on board, he said, adding that the eighth person was injured.
A local security official confirmed the attack, but no-one immediately claimed responsibility and Khan said authorities had not ruled out the motive being a family vendetta.
Last week 11 people were killed when a remote-controlled bicycle bomb exploded at a busy hotel in Nowshera, northeast of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Kurram has a history of clashes between majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shiites and a similar incident there in July left seven Shiites dead.
The northwest suffers from chronic insecurity largely connected to the tribal belt and two weeks ago, 51 people were killed by a suicide bomber in a crowded mosque in Khyber tribal district, Pakistan’s deadliest attack for three months.