Bomb in northwest Pakistan kills at least five

March 14, 2014 - 12:16:10 pm

PESHAWAR: A bomb attack targeting police in northwest Pakistan on Friday killed at least five people, officers said, the latest violence to hit peace talks between the government and Taliban militants.

The blast came in the suburbs of the northwestern city of Peshawar, close to the lawless tribal areas that are a haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

Dialogue aimed at ending the Islamists' seven-year insurgency, which has claimed thousands of lives, resumed last week with government negotiators saying the process was ready to move to a new phase.

But a month-long ceasefire declared by the Pakistani Taliban on March 1 was shaken two days later by a major attack on a court complex in Islamabad that left 11 people dead.

The main Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction denied that attack, which was claimed by a splinter group. 

But it nevertheless prompted many observers to question the militants' commitment to dialogue.

Friday's attack came in Sarband village on the edge of Peshawar close to the Khyber tribal district.

"At least five people have been killed and eight wounded." 

"It was a bomb blast. The target was policemen deployed in the area," Najeeb-ur- Rahman, a senior police officer, told AFP.

Mohammad Faisal, another police officer, confirmed the attack and death toll, but told reporters that 25 people had been wounded. (AFP)