Blast kills ten in lower Orakzai; TTP claims responsibility
PESHAWAR: At least ten people were killed Friday in a blast near a security check-post in Kalaya, the agency headquarters of the restive northwestern Orakzai tribal region, officials said.
According to local administration official Fazl-i-Qadir, around 30 others were also injured in the remote-controlled bombing, which appeared to target a gathering of the anti-Taliban Ferozkhel tribesmen near the busy Ferozkhel Chowk in Kalaya.
The Ferozkhel tribes, who oppose the Taliban and have also formed anti-Taliban militias, are frequently targeted by the militants.
An army check-post is also located near the site of attack and some officials said it could also be a possible target for the bombing.
The injured were shifted to the agency headquarters hospital and Hangu hospital.
Meanwhile, by claiming responsibility of the attack, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Dawn.com that they wanted to target Pakistani security forces.
Orakzai is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal regions in the northwest, where Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants are said to have carved out strongholds.
The agency was the original base of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud before he moved to South Waziristan to take up the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership after the death of his predecessor, Baituallah Mehsud.
Unlike the six other tribal agencies, Orakzai does not border Afghanistan. The rugged mountainous territory provides a crucial link for militants operating in other tribal regions, as it borders Khyber and Kurram on the Afghan frontier.
It also borders Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Pakistan’s main northwestern city, as well as the garrison town of Kohat.