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Militants Attack, Threaten Government in Pakistan

A wave of deadly attacks in Pakistan is raising fears of a widespread militant backlash days after government forces raided a radical mosque in the capital. Suicide bombings in Pakistan's tribal areas have killed at least 64 people in the past 48 hours and tribal militants reportedly have pulled out of a peace agreement with the government. From Islamabad, VOA Correspondent Benjamin Sand reports.

The latest violence occurred in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province.

Military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad says militants ambushed a police convoy as it passed through a local marketplace in the district of Swat.

"There were two suicide bombers who attacked the convoy and also one IED blast," Arshad said.

He says at least 13 people were killed and 52 injured.

And in the same province, just hours later, a powerful blast at a police recruiting center killed at least 11 Pakistanis.

Saturday, a suicide bomber killed 24 paramilitary soldiers in Pakistan's remote tribal area near the Afghan border.

Officials say the violence is an apparent response to last week's military raid on a radical Mosque in central Islamabad. At least 85 people were killed during the assault of Lal Masjid or the Red Mosque.

The pro-Taleban mosque was a well-known center for Islamic militancy and attracted numerous supporters from the volatile tribal areas.

Militants throughout the country are vowing revenge and officials say they are bracing for a violent backlash.

Sunday, Pro-Taleban militants in the North Waziristan tribal area said they are withdrawing from a controversial peace agreement with government forces.

Under that deal, tribal leaders agreed to expel foreign extremists who were using the area to stage cross border attacks into Afghanistan. In exchange, the government ended most of its security operations in the area.

The militants accused the government of breaking the deal by deploying thousands of new troops to the area and attacking "local Taleban."

General Arshad told VOA the militants are in no position to dissolve the peacce agreements.

"The peace agreement was not with the local so-called Taleban. They were with the tribes, so it is the up to the tribes to say what they want to say about the agreement, not the local militants," Arshad said.

U.S. and Afghan officials have sharply condemned the controversial peace deals.

Security analysts say Taleban and al-Qaida militants have used the agreements to establish safe havens and guerilla bases inside Pakistan.