Saturday, April 18, 2009

Suicide bomber kills 10 at Pakistani checkpoint

A suicide car bomber attacked security forces manning a checkpoint in Pakistan's troubled northwest on Saturday, killing at least 10 people, officials said.

The checkpoint is near the Orakzai tribal region, which has emerged in recent months as a major base for Taliban militants waging war on the Pakistan government.

At least 10 security personnel were killed and several more injured, including the local police chief, police official Qasim Khan said.

Western nations are pressing Pakistan to take tougher action against Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds in the tribal belt along the Afghan border.

Militants most frequently attack security forces in the northwest. However, recent attacks including assaults on the Sri Lanka cricket team and a police academy in the eastern city of Lahore have fanned fear that their reach is spreading across the country.

An apparent U.S. missile strike reportedly killed 14 suspected militants in Orakzai on April 1, the first such attack in the area since the CIA escalated attacks from unmanned aircraft last year.