Islamabad, Sep 13 (EFE).- At least five people, including a member of a local peace committee and two policemen guarding him, were killed as a remotely-detonated explosive targeted their vehicle in Swat area of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province late Tuesday, police said.
“It was a remote control bomb which targeted the vehicle at around 1800 hours,” Ayaz Khan, head of a local police station, told EFE.
Khan added that peace committee member Idrees Khan, two policemen and two other people were killed in the attack.
The incident occurred in Bara Bandai village in Kabal tehsil of Swat district in the conservative KPK province, which the Taliban once had under their control in 2007.
No group or individual has claimed the responsibility for the attack yet.
The Pakistan army attributed the attack to militants operating from Afghan soil.
“Terrorists from inside Afghanistan across the international border, opened fire on Pakistani troops in general area Kharlachi, Kurram District,” ISPR, the media wing of the army, said in a statement, adding that the “terrorists suffered heavy casualties.”
“Pakistan strongly condemns the use of Afghan soil by terrorists for activities against Pakistan and expects that Afghan Government will not allow conduct of such activities, in future,” it further said.
The peace committee members have been the target of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) since the time they exercised control over the area between 2007 t0 2009, before being driven away to neighboring Afghanistan by the army in a military operation.
In recent weeks, the locals have denounced the return of the Taliban to the area, which the police have denied. Recently, the Taliban said in a statement they had never left.
The local people have also staged protests against the presence of the Taliban, and posted videos on social media showing armed men believed to be members of the insurgent group.
For over a decade, the TTP has been fighting the Pakistani forces to topple the central government in Islamabad and impose their own brand of Shariah.
It has carried out numerous terror attacks killing thousands of citizens and security forces in the country since its emergence in 2007.
Negotiations between TTP and the government started after the Afghan Taliban seized power in Kabul in August last year, with the latter playing the role of a mediator.
Top clerics have also met with the Taliban in Afghanistan to help end the years-long conflict between the Pakistani forces and hard-line Pakistani militants. EFE