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Sectarian attack kills 12 in Pakistan
Publication Date : 19-07-2012
At least 12 people were killed and another was injured in Tanga Pahar area in Pakistan's federally administered tribal area Orakzai Agency yesterday when a vehicle carrying passengers from Orakzai to Kohat bazaar was blown up by an anti-tank mine, police said.
The pick-up coming from Sipah area of Lower Orakzai hit the mine when it entered Ustarzai area of Kohat at around 7:40 a.m.
Eleven of the victims have been identified as Al Said, Muhammad Saidan, Jaffar Hussein, Mushtaq Hussein, Misr Ali, Sajjad Hussain, Syed Hussain, Rehan Ali, Syed Gul Taj, Amro Bibi and Ghazi Khan.
Eight of them belonged to one family.
The driver, Nowa Khan, was injured and admitted to the Sipah hospital.
Police said the explosion took place about a kilometre outside the tribal region.
Rescue work was delayed because of absence of mobile phone link with the area.
According to different agencies, the dead included three women, two 11-year-old boys and a three-year-old girl and all of them belonged to the same clan, an official said.
"It was a militant attack and the aim was to create panic in the area by killing ordinary people," he said.
He said the victims belonged to the Shia community.
A faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the sectarian attack.
"We targeted them because they were Shias," Mohammed Afridi, spokesman for the Darra Adam Khel Taliban told Reuters by telephone.
“This appears to be part of a series of attacks by militants against one particular sect,” Khushal Khan, a government official in Orakzai, said.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti condemned the blast and expressed grief over the loss of lives.In a statement said such attacks could not deter the government’s determination in the fight against terrorism.