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Bomb Kills Four in Khyber Agency

by AFP

File Photo. Asif Hassan—AFP

Explosive device had been concealed in a plastic bag, according to local officials

Four people, including a soldier and two paramilitary troops, were killed when a bomb concealed in a plastic bag went off in the Khyber Agency near the Afghan border, officials said on Saturday.

The incident occurred after security officials spotted a suspicious plastic bag near a security checkpoint. “As the security officials were inspecting the plastic bag, the bomb concealed in it went off, killing a solider, two paramilitary troops and a civilian,” a local administration official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

The incident was confirmed by other local security officials. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Khyber is one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal areas where the Pakistan Army has been battling militants linked to the Taliban and Al Qaeda for more than a decade. Violence across Pakistan has declined in recent years following a series of military offensives against insurgents but the remnants of militant groups are still able to carry out periodic bloody attacks, particularly in the northwest.

The Army launched an operation in June 2014 in neighboring North Waziristan to wipe out militant bases in the tribal areas and end an insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives since 2004.

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