Suicide Bomb Kills 25 in NW Pakistan

Suicide bomb kills 25 in NW Pakistan A suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a hotel in a market in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing 25 people in a possible sectarian attack, police and an official.

The attack was the second in two days in Kohat, a town hard, not far from the border to Afghanistan with a history of violence between Shia and Sunni sects. A roadside bomb wounded six people on Thursday.

The hotel hit on Friday was owned by a Shiite police official said Asmat Ullah.

The violent, underlines the continuing insecurity in a region home to Taliban and Al Qaeda, whose Sunni extremism has only driven the sectarian attacks that have long plagued Pakistan.

The militants have increased attacks despite military offensives aimed at Taliban fighters last year. The United States has special interest for Pakistan to crack down on militants behind attacks on U.S. and NATO troops on the border with Afghanistan.

Police officer Ali Hassan Khan said Friday suicide was a vehicle.The explosion damaged several cars and several shops in the market Kacha Paka gave in.

Syed Hassan Area Mehtabul mayor told The Associated Press that 25 bodies were pulled from the rubble of the hotel and nearby shops and wounded several people.

A four-month-old army offensive against Taliban militants in Swat Valley, have - according to the military - the deaths of more than 1,800 suspected militants, while at least three senior Taliban leaders in Swat have been arrested.

Officials said that the army is also closing in on Taliban chief in Swat Maulana Fazlullah, whose long radio broadcasts spread fear among residents in the valley.



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