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Blast kills 5 in northwest Pakistan

BLAST KILLS 5 IN NORTHWEST PAKISTAN

At least five people, including four paramilitary troops were killed in a roadside blast in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, an official said.

The blast occurred in remote Bajur agency tribal region, one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal areas in Pakistan, targeting a top tribal administration official's vehicle, Bajaur Agency Assistant Administrator Aanwar-ul-Haq told Anadolu Agency.

"Five people, Tehsildar [administrative official] Fawad Ali, and his four security guards were killed in the blast," Haq said.

The bomb, he said, was planted along a road in Tangi village of Bajaur Agency, which sits near the Afghan border, and was detonated remotely when the vehicle passed by.

A paramilitary troop was also injured in the blast, he added.

Remote-controlled improvised explosive blasts are militants' frequently used tactic to target security forces in the restive tribal region following the Taliban's ouster from their strongholds near Afghanistan border by Pakistan army.

Pakistan army has launched a series of operations since 2014 against Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in the tribal region pushing them into Afghanistan, where they reportedly have established bases to carry out attacks on security forces and civilians inside Pakistan.

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan accuse each other of providing safe havens to militant groups.

Pakistan army claims to have killed over 5,000 suspected militants in ongoing military operations since 2014, whereas more than 700 troops have also lost their lives in clashes, and landmine blasts during this period.

The operations also displaced over a million tribesmen, of them, according to government figures, over 90 percent have returned to their homes.

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