KHAR: Militants armed with rockets and hand grenades attacked the house of a prominent anti-Taliban elder in Pakistan's tribal belt on Friday, killing three people, officials said.
The attack came with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Pakistan for a fresh round of talks demanding that Islamabad dismantle Taliban safe havens in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border.
The gunmen struck in the Minzari Chinaa area, 90 kilometres (55 miles) northwest of Ghalanai, the main town in the district of Mohmand where the military has conducted a series of operations against the Taliban.
"A group of 45 militants attacked the house of Noor Mohammad, who heads the local peace committee, with hand grenades and rockets, killing his two sons and a daughter-in-law," local official Javed Khan said.
Mohammad had been threatened by militants for some time, but escaped unhurt, he added. Intelligence officials said militants fled after the attack.
In the neighbouring tribal district of Bajaur, at least three gunmen shot dead a member of a local peace committee in Chinar, 45 kilometres northeast of Bajaur's main town of Khar late Thursday, a local official said.
Pakistan has repeatedly claimed to have eliminated the militant threat in Bajaur, one of seven districts in the country's semi-autonomous tribal belt that the United States sees as the global headquarters of al Qaeda.
Washington says eliminating militant sanctuaries in Pakistan is vital to winning the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and defeating al Qaeda.
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