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Suicide Attack Kills 5 in Pakistan's Swat Valley


A suicide bomb attack near a bus terminal in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley has killed five people and wounded more than 40.

Officials said the bomber's apparent target was a military convoy. He detonated his explosives Thursday in a crowded area of Mingora, the main town in Swat. Two women were among those killed in the attack.

Rescuers struggled to reach victims trapped inside vehicles left bent and twisted by the force of the blast. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad condemned the attack, which it said "underscores the terrorists' contempt for human life."

Pakistan's army launched a major offensive against the Taliban in Swat Valley last year, and later declared the area free of militants.

Elsewhere in the northwest, Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike killed at least four people in the North Waziristan tribal region on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a U.S.-based aid group says that three of its workers have been released after being abducted in the western city of Quetta in February.

Mercy Corps suspended its work in Pakistan last month after learning that the aid group's driver, who had also been kidnapped, was killed by his captors.

Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer said in an Internet post Wednesday that the group's programs are still on hold and undergoing review. The charity was working with local district health officials in Baluchistan province to implement health programs.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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