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Posted by admin on 2019-01-12 in 上海性息 with No Comments


A suspected suicide car bomb attack in an area of northwest Pakistan rocked by a violent campaign to impose Islamic law has left 27 dead and 15 more injured.

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The blast destroyed a school in the town of Buner on the edge of the restive Swat valley, where voters were casting ballots in a parliamentary by-election, and caused the collapse of a nearby market, police said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, the latest in a wave of suicide and other attacks across Pakistan that have left more than 1,500 people dead in the past 18 months.

The Pakistani military has been fighting Taliban-linked militants in the picturesque Swat valley – once a tourist hotspot – for more than a year, but the violence has continued unabated.

“We believe that a suicide attacker blew up his explosives-laden car near the wall of the school,” local police official Behramand Khan said, adding that the blast had caused “massive devastation”.

Most of the 15 people injured were in critical condition in hospital, he said.

Body parts strewn in street

Police found remnants of a car outside the school, Khan said, but added that officers were still unable to say definitively whether the blast was the work of a suicide attacker, as the area was littered with body parts.

Bomb squad experts were sifting through the debris for more evidence, and further tests were needed to identify the human remains, Khan said.

“The bomb was so powerful that it completely destroyed the school building and badly damaged nearby houses and other buildings,” he said.

Some of those killed were in a nearby market when the roof collapsed.

Two policemen were among the dead, Khan said.

Rescuers aided by locals worked frantically throughout the day to pull survivors from the rubble.

Swat Valley \’a battleground\’

“They used shovels and other tools to remove the debris, as people trapped under the rubble called for help,” one witness said.

Polling was called off in the town following the explosion.

The mountainous Swat valley – once known as the “Switzerland of Pakistan” – used to be a popular destination for local and foreign tourists, and boasted the country\’s only ski resort.

But the region has been turned into a battleground since radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who has links to Pakistan\’s Taliban movement, launched a violent campaign for the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in the valley.

Fazlullah is known as “Mullah Radio” for spreading his views through fiery speeches broadcast over his private FM radio station.

Army operations scaled back

Pakistani troops launched a major offensive in November last year to drive his followers out of the area. The army redoubled its anti-Taliban drive in Swat earlier this year but has since scaled back its operations.

Senior Pakistani officials say a limited number of troops are being shifted out of the northwest – where they are fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants – and toward the border with India amid tensions over the Mumbai attacks.

But the country\’s newspapers on Sunday warned Islamabad against allowing the escalation in tensions with New Delhi to distract it from the task of tackling extremism in the Swat valley and the neighbouring lawless tribal areas.

The English-language newspaper Dawn said in a commentary that Pakistan “just cannot afford to redeploy any large number of troops on the eastern border, leaving the \’wild\’ west in a freefall.”

“Isn\’t that the area where the world\’s best intelligence says the extremist militants are holed up in significant numbers and planning to strike targets everywhere?” it said.

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