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Anti-Government Forces Intensify Attacks in Pakistan's Northwest

  • Benjamin Sand

A series of deadly attacks rocked Pakistan's volatile tribal region Saturday. At least 20 people died as pro-Taleban and al-Qaida forces intensified their anti-government campaign along the Afghan border. From Islamabad, VOA correspondent Benjamin Sand reports.

Pakistani officials say a suspected suicide attacker rammed a powerful car bomb into a bus station in the town of Parachinar in North West Frontier Province.

At least eight people were killed and scores more injured.

The blast destroyed several cars and storefronts leaving the busy streets littered with bloodied debris and dead bodies.

In neighboring North Waziristan province, pro-Taleban militants launched a deadly pre-dawn raid on government forces.

An army spokesman, Major General Waheed Arshad, says the guerillas fired more than 50 rockets and machine guns on an army checkpoint at around three A.M. Saturday morning.

As of this afternoon, he says, the fighting has stopped and the militants have escaped.

Officials say that at least four soldiers and 10 militants were killed in the attack, which occurred in a remote section of the province.

Militants also reportedly targeted a security post near Miran Shah, North Wazirstan's largest town. Officials say no one was injured in the attack.

Violence has surged throughout the region after government commandos raided a radical mosque in the capital last month.

Suicide bombers have killed more than 200 people since the bloody eight-day siege ended and al-Qaida linked militants are vowing to overthrow the embattled government.

Tribal militants scrapped a controversial peace agreement July 15, and military forces say they are bracing for more attacks in the days ahead.

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