Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pakistan Sends Thousands Of Troops Into Borderlands 'Owned' By Militants

Massive Blast In Military Convoy Kills 30

Pakistan is now rapidly approaching Iraq as the most terror-struck region in the world. More than 400 people have been killed in terror attacks in the past few months, and suicide bombers and car bombers are striking military and civilian targets with increasing frequency.

Less than 24 hours after Pakistan sent more than 2500 troops into the north-west provinces controlled by a Taliban-allied militant group, a massive blast has torn apart a military convoy, killing more than 30 people, dozens more were wounded :

The attack in scenic Swat valley in the North West Frontier Province was the latest in a wave of violence targeting the military since government troops stormed the Al-Qaeda-linked Red Mosque in Islamabad in July.

The truck -- carrying paramilitary soldiers and packed with ammunition -- was travelling on a road outside the valley's main city of Mingora when the explosion occurred, the security official said.

"Thirty people were killed in the explosion including 17 paramilitary soldiers. The damage was high because the truck was packed with ammunition," the official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

The blast was so powerful that it destroyed 10 shops and hit a three-wheeler (rickshaw) killing all passengers inside it," he added.

Security sources said a suicide bomber had detonated his explosives near the truck...

Most of the attacks in Pakistan since the Red Mosque raid have been suicide blasts that have killed more than 400 people, according to an AFP tally.

Local home secretary Badshah Gul Wazir told a news conference in the provincial capital Peshawar that the TNSM group was also trying to seize control of dozens of villages.

TNSM was banned by President Pervez Musharraf in 2002 after it sent more than 10,000 volunteers to fight in Afghanistan against US forces who led an invasion to oust the country's hardline Taliban regime.

Hundreds of Taliban militants fled back over the Afghan border into Pakistan's nearby tribal areas after the fall of the extremists in 2001.

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