October 15, 2014 / 8:55 AM / 3 years ago

Bomber in Pakistan kills seven in attack on pro-government militia

PESHAWAR Pakistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed seven people in Pakistan on Wednesday in an attack on a government-backed militia near the Afghan border, security officials and residents said.

More than a dozen men were wounded in the bombing in the remote Tirah Valley, two Pakistani intelligence officials said.

Government forces have been battling Islamist militants in the valley for several years.

Militant from across Pakistan’s ethnic Pashtun areas along the Afghan border have flocked to the Tirah valley since the army launched an offensive against the Pakistani Taliban in the North Waziristan region, to the south, in July.

“A peace committee meeting was in progress when the suicide bomber entered and blew himself up,” said a Pashtun elder, referring to the pro-government tribal militia.

No group claimed responsibility for the blast. Pakistani Taliban militants battling the state regularly attack people and groups who support the government.

Separately, an Islamist faction spokesman said a member of a new al-Qaeda offshoot, Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, was killed in an attack by a missile-firing U.S. drone aircraft in the valley last Saturday.

The spokesman, Usama Mahmoud, identified the militant who was killed in the drone strike as Imran Ali Siddiqi, also known as Waliulla, who had been involved in militancy since 1990 and had served eight years in prison over an attack on the U.S. consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

He was killed along with six other people, Mahmoud said in messages on Twitter that were translated by the SITE intelligence group, which monitors Islamist communications.

Additional reporting by Saud Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan and Katharine Houreld in Islamabad; Editing by Robert Birsel

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