15 Dead in Suicide Bombing in Pakistan
A suicide bomber drove a vehicle filled with explosives into the headquarters of a rival terrorist commander in Peshawar, Pakistan on Thursday, government officials say.
Gunmen first fired shots at the commander's compound in Balandkhel village, after which the suicide bomber rammed his explosives-rigged vehicle into the compound and detonated it. The powerful blast killed 15 people and wounded six others.
Maulvi Nabi Hanfi, the targeted commander, was not present at the time of the attack, according to a report by the Associated Press. Hanfi has been battling the Pakistani Taliban in the Orakzai tribal area where the bombing occurred.
Hanfi was previously a commander in the movement of the Pakistani Taliban, but "had parted ways with the organization upon developing some differences." Hanfi is a rival of Maulvi Noor Jamal, the Taliban commander for the Kurram tribal agency.
A local tribal leader, Malik Nek Marjaan, said the Pakistani government has been supporting Hanfi's group in its battle against the Pakistani Taliban.
Wave of Attacks
Another case of Taliban activity in Peshawar happened Sunday, when an explosion ripped through a market in the northwestern Pakistani city, leaving at least 33 dead and dozens wounded.
The city has been hit numerously by bombs and gun attacks by Taliban-linked insurgents in recent years.
On Wednesday, two Pakistani soldiers were killed in a wave of attacks targeting troops carrying out relief work in a remote region of the country's southwest region, where a major earthquake killed at least 376 people last week, military officials said.
Ethnic Baloch separatists have been waging a decades-long struggle for independence against Pakistan and neighboring Iran, and claim Pakistani soldiers are using relief efforts as an excuse to round up dissidents.
Also in southwestern Balochistan province Wednesday, but far from the earthquake zone, a bomb went off at the Pakistan-Afghan border, killing six people and wounding 11 others, said Pakistani security officials.
The rising violence has hindered new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's overtures to end the insurgency through peace talks with the Taliban.