At least five persons were killed and four others wounded when two vehicles were targeted with roadside bombs on Thursday in the restive Bajaur tribal region of northwest Pakistan. Two pick-up trucks carrying passengers were hit by the remote-controlled bombs in Chamrkand area near the border with Afghanistan.
Five persons died instantly, television news channels reported. The four injured persons were taken to a nearby medical facility. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Local authorities believe Taliban may have been behind the attack as they are now targeting tribesmen for supporting security forces.
Bajaur Agency was a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban till security forces conducted a major operation against them in 2008-09. Many militants were killed and expelled from the region and the Pakistan army says some of their leaders, including Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan deputy chief Maulvi Faqir, have now established bases in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province.
The Pakistan Taliban kidnapped about 30 boys from Bajaur Agency who had gone to a mountainous region border region three weeks ago to celebrate the Eid festival. The boys were later taken to Afghanistan. Last week, they were presented to a group of Afghan journalists in Kunar province.
Pakistani Taliban commander Dadullah demanded that the government free arrested militants for the safe release of the boys. He also asked pro-government tribesmen to end their support to the security forces and to abolish their private 'lashkars' or militias. Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said the Pakistani Taliban have launched several attacks on border check posts in Bajaur Agency and other areas and killed up to 100 security personnel and civilians.