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UPDATE: Explosion kills four in Pakistan's north-west
Publication Date : 14-02-2013
At least four people were killed Thursday in an explosion in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region of Orakzai.
Ten people were also wounded in the blast that took place in Lower Orakzai’s Hasanzai bazaar.
The explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) and targeted a passenger van travelling from Hangu towards Kohat.
Separately, fighter jets attacked militant hideouts in Upper Orakzai, killing six militants.
Three insurgent hideouts were also destroyed in the action.
Orakzai is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal regions in the northwest, where Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants are said to have carved out strongholds.
The area was the original base of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud before he moved to South Waziristan to take up the Taliban leadership after the death of his predecessor, Baituallah Mehsud.
Unlike the six other tribal agencies, Orakzai does not border Afghanistan. The rugged mountainous territory provides a crucial link for militants operating in other tribal regions, as it borders Khyber and Kurram on the Afghan frontier. It also borders Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Pakistan’s main northwestern city, as well as the garrison town of Kohat.