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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Death toll rises to 40 from suicide attack in NW Pakistan 2008-03-02 15:29:58  

    ISLAMABAD, March 2 (Xinhua) --

The death toll from a suicide attack Sunday in northwestern Pakistan has reached 40, while 35 others were injured in the incident, according to local press reports.

    Official sources were quoted as saying that elders from five clans were having a meeting at the town of Darra Adam Khel, some 30 km southeast of Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), to discuss ways to maintain peace in the town when a bomber struck the participants.

    Up to 30 persons were killed immediately and 10 critically wounded were succumbed to their injuries at hospitals, according to the reports.

    A losing independent candidate of the recent elections, Noor Zaman Afridi, was also killed in the attack.

    The elders in their meeting decided to burn houses of those tribesmen and impose fine who will provide shelter to foreign militants.

    The jirga, or council of elders, was summoned to discuss measures against suspected militants in the area, TV channels reported. It has reportedly decided to burn houses of those tribesmen and impose fine who will provide shelter to foreign militants.

    Those seriously injured were being taken to hospitals in Peshawar and Kohat, a major city near Darra Adam Khel. Several were also admitted in the Darra Adam Khel hospital.

    No group claimed responsibility of the suicide attack.

    Fighting in Darra Adam Khel started on Jan. 25 after the Taliban hijacked a military convoy carrying supplies and ammunition destined for Pakistani troops in North Waziristan.

    The Pakistani army halted military operations against the Taliban-linked militants in Darra Adam Khel in late Jan. after a peace jirga requested the suspension of operations.

    During the operations, fighting occurred at the Kohat Tunnel, which was badly damaged during exchange of heavy weapons.

    The authorities closed down the tunnel, which serves as the primary north-south artery, and connects Darra Adam Khel to Kohat.

    The security forces have increased patrolling and surrounded the area.

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