Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

10 killed in Taliban car bomb blast

Ten people were killed when a suicide car bomber attacked a rival militant in Pakistan

A Taliban suicide car bomber attacked a rival militant commander's compound in north-western Pakistan, killing at least 10 people, as heavily armed attackers killed eight members of the coast guard in the south-west, officials said.

There has been significant infighting over turf and leadership positions within the Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella organisation set up in 2007 to represent roughly 40 insurgent groups, many of whom are waging a bloody campaign against the government.

The compound that was attacked in Spin Dal village in the Orakzai tribal area was owned by militant commander Mullah Nabi, said senior tribal police official Amjad Khan. Mr Nabi was once a close ally to a prominent Pakistani Taliban commander from Orakzai, Mullah Toofan, but the two are now fierce rivals.

Mr Nabi was at the compound when the attack happened but was not hurt, said Mr Khan. The 10 killed included five children, he added.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan saying it was carried out because Mr Nabi had turned against the Taliban.

The Pakistani army has waged multiple offensives against the Pakistani Taliban in Orakzai and other parts of the tribal region, but the militants continue to stage frequent attacks against military and civilian targets.

The coast guard camp that was attacked today was in the port city of Gwadar in Baluchistan province, said local coast guard official Hidayat Ullah. Initially six members of the force were killed and two others wounded, but they later died of their wounds, said Mr Ullah.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Baluchistan is home to both Islamist militants and nationalists who have been waging a decades-long insurgency against the government for greater autonomy and a larger share of the province's natural resources.

A roadside bomb also exploded near a passenger bus elsewhere in the north-west on Saturday, killing three people, said police officer Zahir Shah. The attack in Upper Dir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province also injured seven people, he added.

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