13 dead in Pakistan attacks

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Copy of iol pic wld Pakistan AP A Pakistan army soldier comforts a displaced child, at a relief distribution center in Bannu, Pakistan. Picture: B K Bangash

Peshawar, Pakistan - A militant attack on a security checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan, a roadside bomb and a drive-by shooting targeting policemen killed 13 people on Friday, including a civilian, officials said.

The attack in the troubled northwestern tribal region took place before dawn, when a group of militants opened fire at a security checkpoint, killing eight troops, according to government administrator Iqbal Khan.

Khan said the attack happened in Jamrud, a main town in the Khyber tribal region bordering Afghanistan, and that four of the attackers also died in the fighting. He added that authorities had launched a major operation in Jamrud to try and find the rest of the attackers. Jamrud is 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb on Friday struck a vehicle carrying police in Peshawar, killing an officer and wounding two others, officer Ghaffar Khan said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came at a time when the Pakistan army is carrying out a major offensive against local and foreign militants in the country's North Waziristan tribal region.

The military says it has killed nearly 500 militants since launching the operation on June 15, and that it has lost 26 soldiers.

Also in Peshawar on Friday, gunmen opened fire from a speeding car on police officers breaking their daylong fast during the holy month of Ramadan, killing three policemen and a passer-by, said Ejaz Khan, the city police chief.

The attackers fled the scene, taking with them the slain officers' firearms, he said.


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