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Suicide Bomber Kills 12 in NW Pakistan

Pakistani security officials examine the site of a suicide bomb attack on the outskirts of Peshawar, Jan. 19, 2016. At least 12 people were killed in a suicide attack on a market during morning rush hour in the outskirts of the northwestern city, official

Officials in northwestern Pakistan say a suspected suicide blast Tuesday killed at least 12 people and wounded many more. A majority of the victims are said to be security forces.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Witnesses say the bomber riding a motorbike struck a security checkpoint separating the semi-autonomous and volatile Khyber tribal district from the city of Peshawar.

Rescue workers and local officials say a senior officer of the tribal police force and a local journalist are among the dead.

Massive blast

The massive blast caused damage to several vehicles and motorbikes parked near the security post.

Khyber serves as one of the two main routes for trade and transit between Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan.

Peshawar, Pakistan.
Peshawar, Pakistan.

The Pakistani tribal area has been a hub of local and foreign militants involved in terrorist attacks on both sides of the border.

But officials say recent Pakistan army-led security operations have cleared most of Khyber of the insurgents.

Convoy targeted

On Monday, a roadside bomb blast targeting a convoy of paramilitary forces in the southwestern city of Quetta killed at least five soldiers and wounded three others.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Quetta attack. It has been has been waging an insurgency against the state of Pakistan for the past many years, killing thousands of people in bomb blasts and other terrorist raids across the country.